Posts Tagged ‘New Ways’
Our Creative Drama class has taught me so many things about the teaching/learning relationship that I hardly know where to begin. I have learned that planning is the absolute bottom line in success with students. I have learned that the focus of the lesson must be clear, that what I am trying to teach the children must be the place that all elements of the lesson return to or it is not going to be a cohesive experience for them. I have learned that it is not necessary to work from a script or write a script to work from in order to create a meaningful experience for students.
I now have the concept embroidered on my soul that we teach two things to children when we use drama: About being human and about drama itself. That one of the reasons teaching through creative drama works so well is that it is always about being human. Even if our work is about a family of rocks, the rocks will be endowed with human traits and this will facilitate the knowledge we are trying to impart to the students becoming part of them.
Through the discussions and in our reading I have had my eyes opened up to so many new ways of approaching and offering content to children. I feel the knowledge with which I entered the program is now embellished with truly focused, responsible teaching skills.
There has always felt to me like I had some intrinsic knowledge when it came to working with and teaching children. But I have always thought to myself that it felt like there were links missing in my own knowledge base. I know that I must still strive to think more and more outside of the box I have been operating from these last years in my work with children, but I feel that that all I have gained in this class has launched me, catapulted me straight out into that journey.
I am very grateful.
One of the questions asked in my developmental psych class concerned the idea that perhaps we are rushing our children through childhood. Here are some of my thoughts on a subject that worries me a great deal:
…I also think about how the internet, cell phones and other social and technological advances have brought way too much information and opportunities into the lives of our children. There are so many new ways for them to become too aware, and I feel they are not ready so much of what they can access easily. A couple of years ago in a summer program I was running one of my kindergarteners pulled a cell phone out of his lunch box. This astonished me! His mama wanted him to have it in case he got lost, or needed her, and care about those things are certainly not ways to make a child grow up too quickly, I’ll admit that. But the level of technology in the life of this little one, as well as the way we must more vigilantly guard the safety of our children now do point toward that end.
I believe that our society’s tendency toward exhilarating children through childhood is also a factor in the loss of creativity and joy in learning that many of our young people experience very quickly upon entering society. School systems – and here please do not think I make light of the absolutely enormous responsibilities teachers face today, nor of their overwhelming workload – seem to me often to be organized in such a way that the documentation of fulfillment of state standards comes at the cost of the individual child’s learning style and self esteem. One of my goals in education is to find ways to incorporate the way a child learns and what he most loves to learn about across the curriculum.
A pipe dream? Quite possibly. But in my mind, this could make all the difference in the level of personal connection of each child to the contents of what the state says our children must learn.