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There are wide-brimmed hats, there are Bonanza-big ten-gallon hats, and then there are these comically-oversized, bigger-than-your-body hats. 

This group performing a La Chona is only one group of many that donned the stage at Franklin Elementary’s Talent Show, hosting several student and teacher performances.

From the grace and poise demonstrated in elegant hand motions through the Taualuga to the high-energy staccato-styled Huapango, Franklin students represented their cultures, lived experiences, and, just as importantly, themselves. The talent show hosted two students sharing jokes; one delivered a set-up as the straight man, and the other knocked students down with a punchline. Other students sang their favorite songs; one sang Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers,” with half of the students humming along. 

One student was too frightened to step on stage. Teachers made it a priority to introduce the student and ask assembly-goers to listen attentively. Hidden behind the stage curtain, the student sang an earnest piece about anxiety and perseverance in the face of fear. Her peers sat and listened quietly, and when she finished her song, they burst into applause.

It was clear that the teachers and staff of Franklin Elementary take great pride in creating experiences that celebrate their students. Teachers at Franklin Elementary utilize an asset-based approach to learning, recognizing that each student brings a wealth of cultural and lived experience that will enhance their education. In this way, students are not just learning from textbooks but from each other. They are encouraged to share their stories, teach, and learn from one another, creating a rich tapestry of truly unique knowledge.

The Talent Show is a perfect example of Franklin’s asset-based approach in action; each performance celebrates the student’s individuality, showcasing their unique talents and abilities. From each student’s soaring voice to the spirited dancers embodying their identities within their dances, each performance reminds us of the endless possibilities available when we empower our students to be themselves. We can all learn from the example set by the teachers and staff of Franklin Elementary, who have created a genuinely inclusive, empowering, and inspiring community.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei