Reflecting on Masquerade

With each year, our cherished Masquerade festival becomes grander and greater than ever before. Between the speeches, costumes, artwork, and musical performances, our beloved Seven Arrows students outdo themselves year after year. Whether the featured characters are new or veteran, there is something new to learn from each student who confidently takes the stage.

The costumes, lights, and artistic direction are all relevant, but the process that our students embark on to create last Friday’s celebration is where deeper lessons are constructed. The interdisciplinary orchestra that is played on campus and at home in preparation for Masquerade is a testament to our community’s unwavering dedication to the Seven Arrows curricular vision. As every student took the stage, every parent, teacher, and friend who had a hand in their Masquerade process was up there with them, lifting them up and beaming with confidence. On Friday, each child mastered their nerves, owned their hard work, and played their particular note loud and strong.

We, along with others at the forefront of education research, believe that the best way to prepare our students to thrive in our 21st century world is to foster a learning environment that values autonomy, supports mastery and identifies and nurtures purpose. It is these three elements that form the foundations of a well-lived life and that are so woven into the Masquerade experience at our school. The students experience autonomy in their ability to choose their character and design their costumes. Mastery is a function of research, writing, and rehearsal for all aspects of a performance so that our students feel both safe and confident when they step upon the stage. Purpose lies in studying the lives of their game-changing characters and investigating why they were drawn to that person and what their unique contribution might be to the world.

The Masquerade is really about celebrating a student’s accomplishments with them as they perform their research. For now, the Masquerade is a culmination of a team’s worth of efforts, but 20 years from now, these students will use the same skills as they prepare to present a project to colleagues, conferences, or cohorts. They may not be wearing bat wings or a wig, but the confidence they exude and team of parents and friends supporting them will still be there.