Alex believes in a school that highly values engagement in the Performing Arts. However, the challenge that Alex identified at the start of the Changemaker Program was that her school had little opportunities for students to engage in the creation and observation of quality Performing Arts due to a lack of resources. The Drama rooms were small and run down, and as a result of their performance space, it was harder for students to feel a sense of pride in the work they were producing.
Alex’s dream is to have a program at her school that fosters high quality creation and performance of the Performing Arts.
She met with her Head of Department to discuss alternative spaces for her Drama class and found a performance space in the local town, the manager of which was really happy for students to use the space. She also found alternate rooms around the school.
Once these spaces were confirmed, Alex pushed for the introduction of a new subject at her school, Technical Production (Certificate II Creative Industries), so that students could be authentically rewarded for an improvement in the quality of performances in their new spaces, and would have a qualification to work towards as motivation to do so. Alex completed external training to become a qualified Cert II teacher.
Alex and her classes organised and ran a school production to demonstrate what students are capable of when given the opportunity to lead and take pride in their work, and Alex’s adaptive approach to teaching Drama and her flexibility in changing Drama units if they’re not working well has led to high engagement in her Drama classes and in Performing Arts more generally.
As a result of Alex’s efforts, 11% of the student cohort have chosen the new subject available to them next year, Certificate II Creative Industries, and all junior Drama elective classes are over-subscribed for 2018, which is a pretty great problem to have to solve!
“In Year 9 Drama I knew that a lot of my students were disengaged and had chosen it as a ‘bludge’ subject. I rewrote units, or completely changed topics in order to engage them. I worked one on one with some of the students with learning difficulties to get them over the line with the theory elements. I did this to help them, but also because, selfishly, I knew they didn’t know what subjects they were going to choose for the following year. After a semester, a parent came to see me and thanked me for all my hard work with her daughter, one of my most difficult students in that class. She told me that her daughter had gone from being suicidal to wanting to come to school every day just to come to my class, and that it has given her so much self-confidence. She was going to continue to choose Drama through school because of how it makes her feel. That meant more to me than all the enrolments in the world.”
Like the idea?
Alex would love your support for Creative Industries Academy, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Alex and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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