“Mission Improbable l”

Posted on March 29, 2012 by

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I came here with the knowledge that my most important role will be to improve listening and speaking skills in the classroom. I understand its importance and I am doing my best to make sure that this happens, but I also came here with my own knowledge of what I wanted to improve……

I was told it couldn’t be done, I was told it could be too difficult to achieve…..I was told all of this, and so I dubbed it “The Mission Improbable l”. I came here with the aim of pulling off a school play, with three different themes….and wait for it……all in ENGLISH!!! I also took on the role of forming a Poetry club, tackling Shakespeare’s Sonnets 1-154, Urban Slam poetry and New Age poetry.

I realised that what you could achieve, in terms of extracurricular or recreational activities, would be determined by what you bring to your students. They want to see a world outside of the world that they know. I stand to be corrected, but I feel these kids want to learn the English language when you relate it to things that they want to express, things which are at the core of their culture. They want to dance, they want to sing and most importantly, they want to express their love!!!

Okay, let me stop right there!!! I began my mission by presenting my idea to the Principal, rounding up my co-teachers… and getting the full support of the Art teacher, who would be my most important team member. She would help with costumes and prop design.

I presented to the students, that for Georgia’s ‘day of love’(Georgian Valentine’s Day in April) I would like to direct Romeo & Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, performances of  Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley songs, and Poetry recitals from the members of my Poetry Club.

Was it crazy to suggest all of this, with only a month and a half to the performance? I had initially thought that it was until I realised how artistically and creatively gifted these kids are! Its only when you are in this country that you realise how uniquely passionate these people are when performing in the Arts. It wasn’t crazy at all, what an absurd idea…hahahaha!!!

Point is, I am three weeks into rehearsals and these kids are amazing – so amazing that they told me to perform a scene of my own…I don’t think that they get that I am the Director! I feel the ego coming on….I will stop there,lol!

As for the Poetry club, I have 10 members and in true Georgian style, that number fluctuates between 5 and 10…and I’ve been told that that’s good…I’ll take whatever I get. We have covered sonnets 109, 66 and 116 by Shakespeare, Slam Poetry and its origins with poets like Common and Floetry, and have studied the history of New Age poetry with poems by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I feel that this club has been able to be sustained because I incorporate Georgian poetry within it all, and if you know Georgia, you know how wildly crazy they are about their writers and poets. These kids would go to the moon and back to show you and have you like any piece of their culture, so by incorporating that in this club, they are motivated to teach me Georgian poetry and vice versa.

To create a new world for these kids through extracurricular activities but at the same time allow them to hold on to pieces of their culture is the key to their prolonged enthusiasm and motivation. I may be wrong… but isn’t the possibility of me being right a whole lot more motivating?

“Mission Improbable l: The African made it happen”.

Live. Laugh. Love

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