Each morning during first hour, I help alongside Sarah Romanowski in teaching a rowdy group of tweens in a drama introductory class at Steger Sixth Grade Center. The class is titled “Teaching Strategies: Drama Internship.”
From Monday to Thursday, Romanowski covers topics from improvisation to pantomime to stage directions.
On Fridays, I teach. I’ve formatted my class to spend half the time improving acting skills and half of class rehearsing.
Each trimester, the class will produce a short one act festival starring the students.
Though I’ve found myself challenged in dealings of middle school gossip, distracted learners and fear induced shyness, I’ve been reaffirmed of my goal to become a drama teacher.
Teachers have the platform to better our society’s next generation. Teaching in the arts has been shown to impact students in a number of ways.
Teaching expert and author, Eric Jensen, wrote, “The arts enhance the process of learning. The systems they nourish, which include our integrated sensory, attentional, cognitive, emotional, and motor capacities, are, in fact, the driving forces behind all other learning.”
The arts are further promoted by Judith Burton, a researcher at Columbia University, who argued that subjects such as mathematics, science, and language require complex cognitive and creative capacities “typical of arts learning.”
The Burton study argues a art curriculum can strengthen cooperation, motivate risk taking, harness teamwork and goal oriented thinking, build self confidence and encourage creative problem solving.
Champions of Change reported arts education helps students better connect with peers, become self-directed learners, encourages discovery and lowers school dropout rates.
Hopefully, these sixth graders will become the next best generation of thespians when they arrive to WGHS.
This is Senior Trinity Madison’s first year on ECHO staff. She now serves as Advertising / Business Manager after a year of training and contributory writing in journalism class.
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