We’ve just ended our 1st week of providing drama experience for children remotely and into our 2nd week now. The latest news about the extension of the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker by our Singapore PM, though essential but once again, got us to rethink and reimagine our next moves.
It took us a while to convince our preschool partners to allow us to facilitate drama experience remotely via live-streaming classes when all our programmes were suspended due to COVID-19. Within a week of conducting classes online, the announcement of the preschool closure threw us off again, with our partners giving us less than 24 hours notice to stop all live-streaming classes even though we were ready to support them in home-based learning. Fortunately, one of our partners decided to take a leap of faith to have us working hand in hand with them to continue children’s drama experience at home.
This new way of facilitating remote drama experiences for children, especially for drama educators like us, where we play, imagine and create interactive story plots with our young children, seemed strange at first when we had to engage them without human contacts. However, it is starting to feel normal now. This period of the pandemic has forced us all to be in a virtual space, physically distant from our learners, compromising what we value most and having to think hard how to best bring the human touch to our virtual classroom effectively.
I agree with Ron Ritchhart, a senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero, “we don’t shift what we value, we shift what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like for our learners and their families or caregivers”. How do we continue with social-emotional learnings and maintain our relationships with our students?
We are not just teaching our students; we are teaching our students’ parents and ourselves too. This pandemic is a drama within a drama lesson!
As we continue to reimagine and re-invent new ways of teaching and learning drama through our online classes, what is really heartening is to see that parents are joining in to play and imagine, having conversations, asking questions and sharing their own thought processes with their children. Home is beginning to become a powerful place and a big part of our education community.
Below is a picture drawn by Ladell (5 years old), one of our K1 students and a Thank You message from her Mom, Kaylen after they have attended our first online class. Kaylen was eager to share with us her daughter’s image of our first-class session.
Our appreciation to Ladell and Mom, Kaylen for sharing with us.