I forget what the specific goal was, but the grade 1’s were attempting to read a certain number of books by the end of the school year. I visited their classes often and was monitoring their progress. At one point I announced to the students, “If you reach your goal, I will do some cartwheels for you on the front lawn.”
Word travelled back to me that one of the students suggested that I should do the cartwheels dressed like a girl. His classmates agreed. The challenge was issued. I agreed. By June they exceeded their goal.
It was a nice spring day when the grade 1 students assembled in front of the school. In anticipation of the event, I went to the drama club’s costume collection and picked out a nice floral print skirt. I also chose a red, long-haired wig.
I had never heard the expression, Don’t do cartwheels in a dress, but I came prepared. Beneath the skirt I was wearing a pair of red rugby shorts. It was a good thing because with each cartwheel the skirt gave in to the powers of gravity.
Now I would like to think I nailed the cartwheels, but it didn’t matter. I congratulated the students on their achievement and I followed through on my end of the bargain. I cartwheeled away.
My favourite quote from this event came from one of the students, “Gee, the principal wears big underwear.” I hope that is not the only thing they remember.
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