Up until now I have been having inconsistent results with actors. Sometimes it goes great and it is hilarious and other times the actor is messing around or feels completely awkward.
I knew I was going wrong somewhere, but I didn’t know why or what to do about it. I was coresponding with another TPRS teacher and asked the question, “How do you make your students feel important without embarassing them.” The teacher responded by saying,
Dramatizing a story hopefully helps kids feel important. Some keys:
- The kid has to want to be there.
- I asked for volunteers the first day of class. (Usually about half of the class volunteered to act in stories.) I marked them down.
- I only choose from that list and I usually only had the best actors act.
The TPRS idea of positive exaggeration is crucial. Adding details about a student’s life to the story also helps students feel important. It is a complex thing and is something we are always working on.
This really magnified what I was doing wrong. Some of the students I thought wanted to act, didn’t want to and vica versa. Because of this some of the acting totally backfired and as a result students saw that it wasn’t fun to act.
Well, I tried something different for the fourth quarter and it was an experiement because I get a new batch of 4th quarter 7th and 8th graders. This time I told the students to write on their questionnaire whether they want to act or not. I have only picked from that list and the environment in my class has improved drammatically.
I am hoping that this will help to turn things around in my other classes where the acting has been weak. Hopefully the students will see the enthusiasm and want to join in. Whatever the case, I am sure that I will write about the results.