Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Common Problem

In my discussions with other performing arts teachers, I keep coming across the same problem: How do you occupy the other students while you work on one scene? I know we have talked about this before and I have ideas if the students are self-motivated, but what do you do if the students need to be monitored closely at all times and cannot be left to their own devices?

Rachael

5 Comments:

At 6:56 PM, Blogger Christine said...

Hi Rachel,

My students always have an open journal and a pen when watching rehearsals and performances. I try to give them vocab and concepts that they have to identify in the journal and discuss afterwards. They come up with great ideas from reblocking to text interpretation and they spark each other and me. They also get to practice remaining engaged while having to take notes, something that isn't easy even for adults.

Good luck!

Christine

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Holbrook said...

I think that the kind of work that we want, the kind we did in Basics where we explored real interactions and had breakthroughs, just isn't possible in the average public school classroom.

The classes are too big, the kids are too young, and the periods are too short to recreate the Shakespeare & Company experience accurately. When I did the weekend intensive last year, the instructor sometimes spent almost an hour on a single monologue. Well, that's one class period. That's working with one kid a day for a month. We can't expect the class to sit and watch for 29 days, no matter how much we have them write, or watch, or feed in. Nor should we.

That being said, the public school classroom isn't a total wash. Having kids journal is a good idea. Sometimes you can use the whole class to create a scene for the person's monologue to help them find the truth of the text. We can still do high-quality work, but our classrooms are never going to feel just like Lenox.

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

Thank you Christine. I like that idea.

Craig, I feel ya. I'm feeling empty and need a dose of our green world. Sigh....

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger Holbrook said...

I'd settle for a dose of "shut the f*ck up." Seriously, If I offered $100 to every student who remained silent during performances, I think I'd only be paying two or three kids each class. They have so little respect for each other.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger Shakespeare Teacher said...

Sorry Craig, but it's nice to hear that I'm not the only one...

 

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