If I were in charge of a classroom, my poor students would not be pleased with me. I would make them do all kinds of activities that would take them out of their comfort zone. I would probably start by making them become extremely comfortable with each other by having them shake hands for the first few classes, pat each other on the shoulder for a few classes, then hug a few people at the start of each class from there on out. I know – this sounds so insane. But after taking a certain amount of dance classes, art classes, theater classes… I’ve noticed I learn the most from those because I am in my classmates bubble as much as they are in mine. We are rarely separated – sharing ideas, personal space, props, materials, etc.
So, because of all these interactive classes, I’ve learned they really strike within me, and I remember specific activites. For example, when memorizing lines for a play, it’s difficult to remember the entire script just sitting down. But when you get up, move up and down the stage, add blocking and levels, the lines come easier because you know when to walk, where you need to be on which phrases… I’m sure you get it.
During my junior year in high school, I had a great history teacher, except for the fact that he did nothing but lecture. He must hold a record for ‘Most PowerPoint’s Used in a Single Academic Year”. So, to incorporate more movement and actions, I would ask my students to create any kind of art project that they can easily identify with. I would want to see a variety of painting, acting, black and white photographs with time fitting scenes… ANYTHING! I would want them to go all out. The only limit I would place on this project is no diaramas. For myself, I consider those too elementary.
But other than that – everything is fair game. I love to see the way people reach inside themselves to dig deep and discover something new. It’s always impressive to see what people can come up with when you give them the world to work with. I think teachers ought to give assignments, but not give detailed directions. Too many kids ask for a specific step-by-step plan on how to get an ‘A’. I would want to see just how many of them could figure it out and step ahead.