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“When you’re doing a play, you’re trying to connect with the actor to explore, and to bring something new to the play. As a Success Coach, you need to be able to bring the students to a place where they’re going to be able to create.
When a student wants to be a basketball player – that’s wonderful, but not everyone’s going to be a basketball player. But then they begin to expand their thinking: Oh, I can be the physical therapist for the team, or the manager of the team, or the journalist! They start to look at all the different possibilities and choices. So that is one connection.
Another is, when you work in the theatre, you need to develop the skill of talking in front of a lot of people. I work with students to express not just by writing or talking, but also to have a sense of the body, and how to communicate with the body. They also learn to communicate by drawing, or a combination of drawing and speaking. Dramatizing something.
Sometimes, in working with students, you have a lot of setbacks. You have setbacks, and then move forward. I bring in an activity and think Oh my god, this is going to be great, they are going to be super-interested! And you bring it in, and nothing happens AT ALL. The students do not respond. And I have to change it quickly, because they are getting bored and losing concentration. That has helped me as a theatre artist, in thinking: What are people really responding to? Does something have to be changed?
At the same time, you need to have boundaries and you need to set ground rules. People who are creative have different ideas and different ways of working. Sometimes you need to have a negotiation about ground rules that will unify everyone. You have to create a vocabulary with everyone, and I think that is also true in the classroom.
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A teacher, a preacher, a police officer and a private investigator...These elementary school kids from P.S. 156 will knock your socks off with their career knowledge, and convince you that they are the best for the job.
Special thanks to all of the teachers, administrators and faculty at P.S. 156 for making this video possible!