Saturday, February 20, 2016

Amanda Wolgast

It was during my first year teaching abroad - 2010. I was the middle school drama teacher at the International School of Brussels, a school that is known for their Special Education programs. I had never worked with special needs students before and by this day I had been doing so for about a month. One of the students didn’t talk much and was always accompanied by an aide. This student would always play the warm-up games but then kind of withdraw during the time we would work on scripts. She had some reading concerns so the aide would always talk her through her lines. On my greatest teaching day, it was a day I introduced improv. After our normal games, I had them begin an improv game. Her hand shot right up as a volunteer. Her improv scene was funny, witty, and it made the entire class see her in a new way. It made ME see her in a new way. This moment showed the power of theater. This moment showed other students to look beyond disabilities. This moment showed ME that just a small shift in an activity can reach students you thought may be unreachable.

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