1. The Educator : A Podcast by BBC Radio – This year I have spent time working on my own personal fitness. I needed to make time for myself to get outdoors and get fit agian so I started running. Running is not my first choice of exercise, but it is convenient. I just need to put on my shoes and walk out the front door. The only problem is that it bores me silly. The longer I was running the more I was frustrated that I was wasting time and I started cutting my runs short in order to go and do the things I needed to do such as plan lessons, read for uni etc. Well that WAS the case, but then I discovered podcasts. Ok, I am pretty sure the rest of the universe has been listening to them for ages, but they are new to me and I am now obsessed with them.
One of my favourite series is The Educator. This series is produced by BBC radio and touches on contemporary educational trends, esteemed educational practioners and successful school environments. Nothing spurs my running on more then listening to the enthusiasm of Sir Ken or questioning the validity of Hattie’s arguments. Now I can run for a solid hour without feeling it is a waste of my time!
2. Stories in the Dark by Debra Oswald – As I mentioned a week or two back, I was lucky enough to direct Stories in the Dark for our school’s junior production. When we started to discuss texts for production I struggled to find a text that moved beyond predictable teenage angst, was suitable for a junior students in a Catholic school and could cater for a significantly large cast. Stories in the Dark was the exception.
When I first read Stories in the Dark, I was touched by the profound importance Oswald places on story. Storytelling in any form - fables, fairytales, novels, art, music, film or theatre - help us make sense of the world. We have the opportunity to experience the world through the eyes of another, to share in their experience and connect emotionally to the time, place, people and events that occur. In theatre this is profoundly true for both the audience and the actors. This is why I chose Stories in the Dark. I wanted both the students and the audience to reflect on this and they did. I highly recommend this play to schools and would be willing to answer any questions you may have about it.
3. The Focus on Ability Film Festival – My year 10 students have been working in collaboration with the learning support students from one of our feeder primary schools. As a qualified special education teacher and a parent of one of the younger children involved, this has been one of the amazing highlights of my year. You can view our film here (and VOTE if you like!), but I encourage you to check out all the inspiring films this film festival has on display. I assure you it will widen your eyes and warm your heart. Maybe your school can enter next year.
4. World Economic Forum – Ok, you may be wondering why someone like me is posting about the World Economic Forum. Well, take a look at this article and you will see why. According to a World Economic Forum Report, “Children need to learn social and emotional skills if they are to thrive in the workplace of the future”. No surprises here. I will be using this diagram for senior subject selection next week. Creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration are explicitly taught in Drama and I believe this makes Drama the subject of the future!