Students often complain that assemblies are dry and boring. But with a little bit of care and attention, and some imagination, assemblies can be a great place to talk about things that are relevant to students, expose them to things that stretch their minds, and give them a chance to express themselves and share what they can do with others.
Announcements and Issues
Assemblies are a comprehensive way to keep everyone informed about things happening at school. Student council can make announcements about upcoming events and projects, clubs can let the school know what they are up to and the administration can tell students about any changes in rules and policies, schedules or other information.
An assembly can also be used to discuss problems that have come up, like issues of academic or social conduct. These assemblies can be a time for teachers and staff, along with students, to talk about things like academic honesty, drugs and sex, positive and negative peer pressure and cliques and gossip.
While a number of students and groups could take a minute of assembly to let the rest of the school know what they are doing, an assembly could also be devoted to letting a group or two really show the school what they do. If the theater club is putting on a play, one of their performances could take place during assembly time, or they could put on a preview to encourage people to come. Dance and music groups or cheerleaders could perform too. An assembly could also be pep rally before a big sports game. Groups involved in politics and activism, such as the gay-straight alliance, young republicans club or students for a democratic society, can give informative talks about their perspectives on issues. The debate club could also put on a debate about an issue relevant to the school. Classes may also have work to present. A video class might have short films they could show to the school. A history or English class might select a few of their best essays to read to the school. A science class could demonstrate an experiment. Teachers can also give presentations. They might have one lesson that always seems to really wow their class that they could share with the whole school instead. Or they might have a secret interest or skill to show to the school.
Many guest speakers would be happy to visit schools, often for no cost. While some have information that it is their mission to share, like public health organizations and activists, others, like some performers, know that performing will encourage students to return with parents to paying shows. Others, like artists, writers or local government officials and community leaders, may just enjoy offering their time to meet with people.