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Drawing Time

March 14, 2019

TOP TIPS For Keeping Control in a Drama Class.

It is true; the challenge of managing the classroom during drama could be the reason why some teachers are reluctant to teach the subject. Drama lessons are there to encourage free expression and movement so doesn’t this just lead to noise, over-excitement and even fighting? Unfortunately, and in the worst-case scenario, this could be the case.

 

However, with the right approach, the teacher can lead a productive and rewarding drama session where pupils can learn to express themselves emotionally, verbally and physically, develop teamwork skills and remain on-target.

It is true; the challenge of managing the classroom during drama could be the reason why some teachers are reluctant to teach the subject. Drama lessons are there to encourage free expression and movement so doesn’t this just lead to noise, over-excitement and even fighting? Unfortunately, and in the worst-case scenario, this could be the case. However, with the right approach, the teacher can lead a productive and rewarding drama session where pupils can learn to express themselves emotionally, verbally and physically, develop teamwork skills and remain on-target.

As in any teaching, it is important that you prepare each lesson with clear aims and objectives. If you believe that going into a class with the intention of just having fun and playing some drama games, you will soon end up with a very lively group of students. At the beginning of every session, confidently explain to your students what the aim of this class is, so everyone is on the same mind space. If you are clear about what you are trying to achieve, you can communicate this to the students so that they understand the purpose of the lesson and individual tasks. Each child needs to understand what their role or responsibility is in the drama. Outline the session at the beginning, then clarify each activity as you proceed.

Establish a routine. Pupils respond better when they know what the teacher’s expectations are, which behaviors are acceptable and which are unacceptable, and having a clear beginning, middle and end in your lesson will be important. During your first classes, agreeing to rules is a good way to approach your routine. Teacher and students can brainstorm together and write down their
rules in big pieces of paper, so they always have something to refer to if things get out of control. Also, by doing do, students will take pride in contributing to their sessions atmosphere.

Extra Tips for ‘’no Drama’’ classes:


1. Is the content of your session right? Will it grab students’ attention and imagination, challenge and extend their learning?


2. Give unambiguous explanations and cues to the students and keep them on task.


3. Encourage students to respect one another’s work by giving and receiving feedback to each other.


4. Be aware that students need to grow in confidence and give them the techniques and support for this.


5. Consult the students about acceptable guidelines for working in the space.


6. Allow time for reflection so that students can discuss, write about or otherwise process their learning.

Working in this way will bring more focus to your drama sessions and give you the confidence to try such enjoyable techniques as Teacher and Conscience Alley so that you can structure your Drama Lessons without having to worry about problems with discipline.

 

* Taken from ‘Learning Through Drama in the Primary Years’ by David Farmer

Danay Bouzala, Director of Drama


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