Pep rallies can be fun, especially when you’re not directly involved in them and you’re able to sit on the sidelines and watch it all unfold. Participating in pep rallies is a different story; not because pep rallies are bad or that I don’t have school spirit, but because there’s a lot of anxiety associated with the brave unknown of standing in front of a gym with lots of kids running around or sitting in bleachers.
When I used to work at a different school, I made sure to participate in pep rallies as much as I could. I was a judge during the first one I went to, and I was given the responsibility of judging the school spirit of each class. The classes were separated into different bleacher sections, and they wore different colors depending on their class. Red, black, grey, blue. It reminded me of what the homecoming pep rallies were like when I went to high school, except not as many people cared about those and we didn’t have as many fun side events for teachers and students. A bit of a shame, but not the end of the world. I remember voting for the junior class because they brought a special needs student out to compete during the basketball mini-game, while the sophomore class shoved one out of the way and made sure to send their best players only. Sometimes you have to make the right choice for the right people.
At my new school, we still have pep rallies, but they’re under a different name and for a different purpose. Instead of building general school spirit, they’re meant to celebrate what students are learning and reward positive behavior. They’re so much more effective in creating interest in students than the previous pep rallies I’ve seen, because the kids do care about them.