My latest rant

Sometimes I wonder why I’ve chosen the path my life has taken.  I figure if God had wanted me to do something else, like being a scientist or something important like that, I’d have had a whole lot more science or math brain cells than I have.

My talents run toward the artistic rather than the practical.  I teach, but some would say what I teach is fluff, not important in the “real” world.  In fact, a certain principal told me that I live in a dream world and that what I do does not impact test scores.  Test scores? Is that the point of educating children?  Do we as teachers simply put our creativity away like out-of-fashion footwear?  To fit our teaching style to imparting facts and figures that might help kids pass a test?  Like Cinderella’s sisters, must we stuff our feet into the pair of shoes or lop off our toes or heels to accommodate the rules set down by the powers-that-be? Those people in charge are often not educators to begin with, or so far removed from the classroom that they’ve forgotten not only how good teachers teach, but also how children learn.

Whew, that was a rant.  I teach theatre to kids who’ve been identified as talented in theatre.  These kids who aspire to the stage have little experience of the actual process.  I teach focus, concentration, movement, and teamwork.  I emphasize self-control, and the importance of thinking and feeling and studying human nature to experience what motivates people.  Sort of the theatre equivalent of walking in someone else’s shoes.  In the theatre, everyone is important.  The leading actor or actress, the backstage person who sets the furniture in place, the techie who brings the lights up at the beginning of the scene, or the door person who sells tickets to the audience…all are important to the success of a production, just as the guy or gal who sits on the bench must practice in order to be ready to step into the game if a first teamer is injured.

Maybe I do do something important.  Just maybe I teach kids how to develop their imaginations as well as their minds and their intuition as well as their logic.  I teach them that there is beauty in words and magic in movement, that for every emotion there is a contrasting emotion, and that how they react is as important as how they act.

Maybe I do.

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