“Directing teenage actors is like juggling jars of nitro-glycerin: exhilarating and dangerous.”
It's been a while, hasn't it? Since you got to read my thoughts.
Lately, in English class, we have been reading The Crucible. Along with reading it, we have done research and projects to make it relevant.
But not only have we been reading it, we have been acting it out. Not like acting in the sense of trying to be perfect, just going in front of the class and reading the lines. And I have to say, this has given me a completely different perspective on reading plays than I have had in other classes.
I can say I've been in every act, playing different people, completely into my character. I have even been injured in a mock fight with another classmate - because it happened in the book. (The mate was my friend so it's all good). Others though, while not being as into it as me and my friend, stand up there like lifeless beings and read their lines.
I can't vouch for them, but acting this play out has made it easier for me to follow along. I've sat through long plays, like Romeo and Juliet where the teacher is reading each line aloud or having us read it by ourselves - and if you asked me today about Romeo and Juliet, my answer would probably be a little something like this:
See? Reading and taking quizzes did nothing for me. Especially with difficult Shakespearean language.
But acting it out, I haven't been on Spark Notes once. We have a study guide to fill out as we go along, and I can look at it and understand it. Because I'm involved in the learning, not being given a book to read alone. Also, I'm acting out three main characters who are in a love triangle - so I get to talk a lot.
I, personally, really enjoy this way of reading through a play. I wish my other teachers had thought about doing it this way. And, when the scene is over, we watch the movie to compare, which is always interesting.
Another topic, I have a teacher who is asking me to help her re-design her lessons. She was so inspired by Key Note, she wants to work at being better at integrating technology.
Which is great - do not get me wrong - it's great.
But, I'm realizing, to integrate technology and make it interesting first the lessons must be interesting. I talk to teachers a lot about integrating technology, integration, integrate, but if the lesson does not give them a good platform, how is one supposed to take any advice from anyone?
I'm also running into the problem of, technology cannot teach a lesson for you. You cannot hand the students questions on something you've never taught because they have a computer. (Well, you can - but remember you are a TEACHer).
I love talking about technology, truly I do because it is important. I started this journey because I was sick of typing essays in classes with teachers who bragged about being technology advanced.
My mom's job is to monitor technology use in her district, and get everyone on the same page.
And, what I'm learning from all these different influences, is that A. Technology cannot teach for you and B. Lessons have to give technology room to be helpful.
I can't tell you how many times I've sat and talked to teachers, but never was I in the position to make a pre-made lesson technology friendly. And it's hard sometimes.
But with this new perspective, I can make my talks and such more teacher friendly.
That is all for today.
My name is Alex. Technology preacher and puppy lover. Enjoy!