Let me come right out and say that possibly the most excited I have been all year was when I was nominated captain of Jaradoa’s bowling team. I quickly grabbed the nickname “Thunder Strike” and the rest is history.
One of the other sides of this pretty sweet theater company I take part in is teaching our Play On! program at MS 22 in the Bronx. It’s job 10 out of 12 for me… yes, all exaggerations aside, I have 12 jobs at any given time. Anything from organizing and running little Sally’s horse-themed birthday party (with real live plastic horses!), to working for the U.S. Census Bureau, to teaching English to Japanese people via skype, I have a wide spectrum of employment at any given moment.
But still, I don’t really think I could ever be a full-time teacher. It’s hard, reaaaalllyyyy hard, but with MS 22, we just go in two days a week and help 6th, 7th and 8th graders conquer their fears of writing a play and acting. We explore different and more theatrical ways to listen and respond to texts and I think most importantly, we give them a truly safe environment to be creative, where our #1 rule is to never, ever laugh at anyone’s ideas.
Middle school kids are tough. You have to earn their trust, and they may resist you for weeks, but the second you are “in” with them, you’re in for life. These kids have tremendous stories, and without a program like this, how else would they get to tell them?