On Facebook, I posed a question earlier today:
Teaching Artists, Teachers, Arts Administrators, Principals/APs: YOU are on the planning committee to open up a Middle School Performing Arts Charter/Private School combo. What are THREE things you’d want your dream school to have/be?
Parents: What three things would you want for your child in the above school? What would you be willing to do to make that happen?
So far, these are the responses I’ve gotten (it’s early yet, but this is on my mind):Lisa Dennett
- Improv, in addition to traditional scene study.
- Access to professional materials and equipment, but NOT Broadway quality.
- A focus on academics with a connection to why they are important to the performing arts.
- a pedagogy that includes using the theatre and the arts to problem-solve social issues, i.e. bullying, cliques, peer aggression.
- students would regularly use role-playing and role-reversal to strategize alternative endings to real-life situations. the guidance office and administrators would also be skilled in leading this work.
- A safe place to store musical instruments (Cellos are big and fragile) that is convenient to the practice space.
- Sound proof practice rooms for music, some kind of small practice area for dancers/drama.
- Sufficient spaces appropriate for choir/instrumental/drama/ classes that a scheduler won’t have to go nuts figuring out which group gets to use the “good” room.
Three arts educators with great ideas, and I hope to get and add more, or find the postings here on comments.
My Three Thoughts on this: (I’ve got plenty, but I’ll keep to the same limit):
- A collaborative, team teaching/cross discipline teacher system, with arts infused curriculum writing & planning (i.e.: ELA, SS & the sciences plan their curriculum to include and intersect all core curricula into their units lessons for the fullness of the subject matter).
- Parents have a vested interest in not just their student (and having a place to send them for the day) but the entire school community, and have their own PDs and seminars to understand what the students are working on and how they can help.
Focus on the students growth (and teachers) with a structured, consequence driven (good and bad), risk taking is good (and so can failure as a learning tool), and establish inquiry, critical thinking and problem solving as part of the basis of learning, not how to take a test, and figure out what type of learner each student is (visual, kinetic, etc) instead of the cookie cutter mentality.
Yeah…a lot more than three, but…. you get the idea.
“The world is a dangerous place to live – not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein.
Let’s do something about this.