Students surprised with dance number


By Glenn Battishill - [email protected]



Woodward Elementary School staff members dance to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge Friday during the school’s first assembly in nearly three years. Students were given instructions on how to act during presentations and assemblies, and their new attentive listening skills were put to the test with the sudden dance number.

Woodward Elementary School staff members dance to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge Friday during the school’s first assembly in nearly three years. Students were given instructions on how to act during presentations and assemblies, and their new attentive listening skills were put to the test with the sudden dance number.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Woodward teachers dance for students Friday. The organizers of the dance said the song was meant to re-enforce the school’s theme of “we are family” and to help students feel like they belonged at the school.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Students at Woodward Elementary School in Delaware got a surprise during their first assembly in nearly three years Friday as their teachers suddenly began singing and dancing.

The surprise musical number was orchestrated by Counselor Laura Shank and Social Skills Specialist Brandi Collins, and it came at the end of an assembly about attentive listening during presentations and assemblies.

Collins said this is the first time the school has been able to come together as an entire group since winter 2019.

“This (assembly was) about assembly expectations,” Shank added. “(We’re) showing them the rules of an assembly since they haven’t had one in a while, and there’s nothing like a big surprise to practice your expectations.”

Shank said the expectations are things like not getting out of their seat, remaining calm, and staying in their space. Shank told the students the school hopes to have more assemblies this year, which makes assembly etiquette a priority.

After presenting the expectations to the students during the assembly, all of the teachers at the school went in front of the student body and began dancing to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge.

For their part, students cheered but remained in their spaces for the dance.

Collins said the school’s theme this year is “we are family,” and the song was a natural choice for the assembly.

“(It’s) not only the perfect song (for the theme) but the perfect song to remind kids they are loved and welcomed here,” Collins said. “Everyone was supportive. (We want students to take away) that they are always welcome here. When I started here, this was one of my favorite buildings to work at because it’s so welcoming and the students are fantastic as well.”

Shank said she hopes students had fun with the performance, adding she was excited for the surprised looks and getting all the students back together like a family.

“Woodward is a family place,” she said. “We’re a school that has really fostered relationships. Bringing everyone back together again and celebrating just being together is exciting.”

Shank added the family theme is an important part of the environment at Woodward.

“Woodward’s reputation is that when you come in this building, you feel that sense of community,” she said. “It’s deeper than just, ‘You are my student.’ It’s a love we all share for each other, our coworkers and our students. Once you’re a Woodward student, you are every teacher’s student. You are part of this Woodward family. I really believe that every staff member has that sentiment in their heart. Every person in this building is a part of their family, and that’s how they were treated.”

Woodward Elementary School staff members dance to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge Friday during the school’s first assembly in nearly three years. Students were given instructions on how to act during presentations and assemblies, and their new attentive listening skills were put to the test with the sudden dance number.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/10/web1_DSC_0232.jpgWoodward Elementary School staff members dance to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge Friday during the school’s first assembly in nearly three years. Students were given instructions on how to act during presentations and assemblies, and their new attentive listening skills were put to the test with the sudden dance number. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Woodward teachers dance for students Friday. The organizers of the dance said the song was meant to re-enforce the school’s theme of “we are family” and to help students feel like they belonged at the school.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/10/web1_DSC_0248.jpgWoodward teachers dance for students Friday. The organizers of the dance said the song was meant to re-enforce the school’s theme of “we are family” and to help students feel like they belonged at the school. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

[email protected]

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.