Make It Comfortable to Listen

Remember when you were a student and you had to sit slouched on a hard floor during a presentation or performance? It wasn’t too comfortable, was it? Well, it won’t be for your students and staff either so be sure to arrange some chairs or benches. The first way to get an attentive audience at a school assembly is to ensure they’re comfortable enough to listen. If the size of the school assembly is too large for your available space, rather than crowding students and teachers in a room break up the schedule. Perhaps the younger grades go in the morning and the older students attend in the afternoon. Also, don’t forget that age differences mean height difference. Proper placement of students and teachers at the assembly makes it easier for them to remain engaged in the performance. You don’t want a bunch of heads zipping back and forth to stay interested.

What Equipment is Needed?

There is a wide range of school assemblies that you could have: a science fair, an educational presentation, a student presentation, a theatrical performance, the list can go on and on with enough creativity. So, consider what you’ll need for the kind of assembly you’re going to have. A science fair, for example, would require multiple teachers assigning the projects, staff staying late, tables and chairs, perhaps even refreshments. Will this fair be during school hours or after classes have ended for the day? Besides the basics of tables and chairs, if required, what about technology needs? Does the assembly require a screen and projector or a microphone and sound system? If you’ve hired an outside company for a performance, will they be bringing their own and if so can your school accommodate their equipment? There are a lot of variables to consider for a successful school assembly and it’s worth your time to consider them.

Communicating the Assembly

Don’t assume that the neighborhood or students automatically know what the assembly entails. A successful and interesting assembly is a communicated one, that shares what it is about and galvanizes interest. One way is having student council make flyers and posters to post around the school, or if needed the neighborhood as well. Encourage students to tell their parents to come and see a performance or send notes home with them. If it’s a large event, such as a parade or play, perhaps get the local media involved. That would be especially important if ticket sales were a factor for your assembly. Many academic entertainment companies are also equipped to help with press releases and media strategy if your assembly requires it. Another way to communicate your assembly to the neighborhood is through social media. Many parents have been using social media since its inception and students are growing up during its golden age, so use that to your advantage. Tag your school and share the information in neighborhood groups, get the community excited for your school assembly.

Respecting the Assembly and Performers

We know how rude it can be to talk through a performance and how keeping younger students aware of that can be difficult, so it’s helpful to remind the assembly of basic decorum before the assembly officially begins. Reminding teachers and students to appreciate the work everyone put in, giving public thanks to those who organized the event and encouraging everyone to be respectful can keep good manners in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Also, it is helpful to give context to the event. Why are we having a pride rally or seeing a performance on the health risks of smoking? Explain to the parents why your school is hosting a science fair competition. This is also an opportunity to praise and encourage community bonding, gratitude to the parents for encouraging their kids participation and for coming to the event.

Know Your Audience

If you’re giving a presentation to 11th graders, it probably isn’t the best idea to have a puppet show. Having an interesting school assembly depends on the group you’re talking to. Remember that you know your teachers and students, what their interested in or what they need to know. Following that direction will allow them to be naturally interested rather than trying to convince them to be interested. Many academic entertainment companies offer a wide variety of performances that can cater to many classroom ages and so you have a myriad of options to choose from.

Have Fun!

An assembly doesn’t have to be a humdrum lecture that puts everyone to sleep. This is an opportunity to build school spirit and community pride with an interesting assembly, a chance to have some fun with education and see that spark in a student’s eye. Get everyone involved and build a positive school assembly by taking time to plan it out, know your audience, and working to make everyone comfortable.