Friday, September 05, 2008

Keeping The Ball In Play

It's wild when the 'problem kids' turn up at the school's open house, pulling their parents into the theatre room and introducing them, showing off, telling them what we've been doing in the theatre class.

With these wild kids my job is just to be the goalie. They come flying off the field, and I find some way to kick them back into play.

We play catch with an imaginary ball, and when it comes to me I change the shape of the ball and ask them to deal with the size and weight of the ball. Sometimes I shrink the ball and then eat it to see what they will do.

The boy who immediately created a stomach pump got a star in my notebook for the day.

There are boys who have to spend some time in a chair while the rest of class proceeds, but even they turn around and watch what's going on.

The acting-out is almost always creative impulse. It presents a certain problem, sure, but the real problem is shyness. It is rampant among the girls more than the boys. There are girls who cannot, cannot, announce their own name in a room full of people.

By the end of the year, they will have announced themselves to the room with conviction in themselves.

2 comments:

Pam said...

You will be a truly inspiring teacher, Alg! Lucky students who pass through your door!

Elementary school is the place where little minds, psyches and creative impulses are either stiffled or nourished and channeled into a lifelong love of learning and creativity.

Sadly, I've witnessed both sides of that coin. It's why I love teaching and working with elementary age children.

Donna said...

As I expected, but no less impressed by your ability to - not just reach those little minds - but to be a life-altering positive influence! Wonderful! :)