The thing about talking about your work is that what is in your head makes complete sense. You understand what you mean, you can express those ideas quite fluently to yourself, however when one must stand in front of others and explain those ideas – communication issues can come to the fore.
That thought process is surely the same as Teaching. We know what we mean, we can perfectly communicate it to each other (other teachers), yet in front of a child, and sometimes a child that struggles to hold onto ideas on a good day; best laid plans can fall by the wayside. Hope to disappointment. Expectation to exasperation.
That however, does not mean we shouldn’t try!
Sitting, listening and conversation is the best way to do that. Sitting with like-minded individuals, listening to like-minded individuals and having conversations with like-minded individuals.
The seats weren’t particularly comfortable at the Sheldon Community Centre, and neither was the floor, however whilst (ironically) sitting at a drama conference the ideas that came my way were at their most potent. This was particularly the case when it came to the floor. Big Brum’s discussion of home and how those ideas can be disseminated to young people was especially interesting. I always try and think of ways of bringing genuine choice into my classroom and curriculum, choice that matters and impacts upon what the pupils are going to learn (and perhaps more importantly how they learn it). That was so special about Big Brum’s presentation – it created choice, and a space where everything that the pupils did could be accepted into a greater whole.
Granted listening is similar to sitting in that most of the listening that was done was whilst parked. Still this doesn’t diminish the fact that listening to other’s ideas is, and always will be the best thing to do to improve and develop your practice. From in-role work, assessment and a teacher’s personal comfort there was a wide variety of ideas on which to feast.
Let’s talk about the work I have been doing – let’s talk about how we are trying to transform the curriculum – let’s talk about how drama can be used in non-traditional settings. Drama is a collective activity – previously I have discussed creating a space where the second that the pupils enter they become part of the ‘world’. But, what if we are talking about a situation where there are far too many pupils to have them all in that space at the same time? What if they don’t want to participate? What if they can’t? The challenge then is to create a scenario where all pupils can be part of the narrative, and every single one can participate in how it develops. That is the aim of my research. Creating a narrative where one large English department work together to create an engaging story that al pupils feel part of, and all can try and add to themselves. Creating an experience where meaning is experienced, where there can be no crossed wires, and where a child is able to clearly understand.
Hopefully that has been communicated.
It was a genuine pleasure to both speak and listen at Act 2 – here is to Act 3!