Every student has potential. It might not be obvious every minute of every day; sometimes you might have to look harder in some students than others. But every student has a potential – and that’s what a teacher’s job is– to help then unlock and nurture that potential.
I remember one boy from a few years ago who was particularly shy and quiet during my drama lessons. I always encourage free expression and movement, and students experiment with different levels of volume, but, although that particular student didn’t seem like not enjoying his time there, he always kept things to himself.
During their usual snack break one day, and after numerous attempts and tricks to make him take part in the activities, he came to me saying that he had written, or better say drew, a play. It was about a team of sailors who, whilst being on a treasure hunt, got attacked by pirates. To my surprise, the play had a full plot, main characters, and solid structure, and was about 10 drawings long. I was speechless. It suddenly dawned on me that in front of me I had a little ‘writer’, and it finally became clear why he couldn’t be transformed into a young ‘actor’. It was because he was equipped with different qualities and characteristics than what I was expecting to see... After that day, my approach towards that student changed, and I encouraged him to participate in a way that freed up his inner talent and imagination. At the end of the year, not only he took part in our little show, but he also was the leading student helping write it! Going back to how I started, I do understand that working with a big number of students a day makes it hard to distinguish their individual strengths quickly. It is essential that we treat all of them with sensitivity and openness, so when the time comes, we are able to recognize the clues instantly, and act accordingly. See you in the classroom ! Danay Bouzala, Director of Drama