Picture your prom. Picture dressing up in your finest, spending some extra time making yourself into the best dolled-up version f you. Picture walking into the dark room with strobe lights blinking and music blaring. Picture the food corner and punch corner. Picture the awkward moment at the beginning where all of the boys are in a circle and all of the girls are in a circle and no one is dancing. Picture the person who finally decides to let loose and breaks the no-dancing seal. Now picture the room filled with teachers, only they are not the ones hugging the walls and sitting in the seats making sure students save some room for Jesus. No, the teachers are the ones eating, drinking, and dancing. The teachers are the ones all dolled up. It’s teacher prom, ya’ll!
So our great, amazing, talented, lovely math teacher/party-planner extraordinaire, Mr. Edison Garrone emailed out an idea to have teacher prom. It would be held at school, just like regular prom, only this one would have good music and real drinks. And hopefully less drama and chances of a pregnancy outcome. Immediately the staff jumped on this idea because I mean who wouldn’t want a chance to just enjoy being a playful uninhibited adult at school for a night?! You all know I was the first to sign up. Not only was it the evening before my birthday, but it was an opportunity to get to know my colleagues on a completely different level.
The night of the 17th, I walked into the auditorium and was completely transported back to every prom I have attended as both a student and a teacher. People were milling about sipping on some drinks, enjoying some yummy bites, and secretly hoping someone would venture out to the dance floor. Guess who?! Me and a super fab woman from elementary got our funk on immediately. In fact, I don’t think I sat down the entire event. Once people put on their dancing shoes, the real party commenced. I watched some of the whitest dance moves intermingle with serious latin flare. No one had a care in the world. The music switched from oldies to newbies, English to Spanish, performed to karaoked. People hopped from dancing circle to circle. Couples embraced with looks of pure rapture on their faces and I couldn’t help but think, “they are going to remember this moment with their partners for the rest of their lives” just like we remember our old prom dates.
The wine and beer flowed, the pizzas and chivitos continued to be passed. Smarter people than I took breathers on the sofas brought in from the student flex space. Then a familiar song would play and everyone was up on their feet. My dear friend Camilo translated lyrics for me. My fabulous friend Gabriel taught me some new salsa moves. My amazing friend Mike harmonized with me as we sang some Beatles tunes. My cheeky friend Javier started conga lines. And when the clock struck midnight, my beautiful friend Maritte coaxed the DJ to sing happy birthday to me and Julia. (Not only my ninth-grade teaching parter in crime, but also my birthday twin!) I rang in my 30’s with copious cheek kisses, congratulatory hugs, and my very own conga line. It was pretty much the greatest prom I have ever attended!
And as the clock struck 2am and the numbers dwindled, I realized that I work with some of the coolest and most amazing people on the planet. I also realized that I work at the coolest school on the planet. Because where else can you teach all day long and then enjoy returning back to school for another six hours of joyful camaraderie. And what other school rents lights, caterers, bartenders, and a DJ to make sure that it’s teachers have a prom to remember.