Help me give my students the technology to bring their ideas to life by giving them the ability to communicate their vision. The mobility and freedom of a laptop, combined with the gift of communication is transformative.
During school, after hours and even some weekends my theatre students create entire worlds using their imaginations. Sometimes these fantasy worlds save them from the hardships of their own 'real' lives- flooded homes with relocations, friendship trouble, divorces/ difficult family dynamics, academic struggles and/ or disabilities. Through theatre they are able to be in control of their world and for middle school age students this can make all of the difference. My class is their escape and I want to be able to give them as many tools as possible to create the futures they desire.
Most years I am lucky enough to teach my all three grade levels so I have the privilege of seeing how much the students change and grow from their 6th grade year to their 8th; their confidence, abilities and intelligence all become stronger through the hard work that they put in.
And because I have been at my school for 15 years I am sometimes even honored enough to receive a visit from former students where they share how much they enjoyed the creative escape from their day.
A laptop will help my students during the design process, rehearsal, and performances of our plays. My students often have creative ideas that they want to bring to life, but the lack of a near by computer limits them to having to use library computers or wait until they are at home (assuming resources are available-many lost these items during Hurricane Harvey). With a portable laptop my students can get hands on training from me in the classroom, and be able to share their work in real time. A laptop will also help in lighting, and sound design in our rehearsal space (where ever it may be that day). This is the beauty of a laptop; ideas don't have to wait for a near by computer. This would help in continuing to rebuild and grow our theatre.
Ideas become reality through communication by helping us all 'stay on the same page.' The second item on our wish list is better communication, through two-way radios.
Two-way radios would help the students gain more confidence, control, and ownership over their shows. Students would be able to run house lights/sound, and communicate cues with the backstage managers to help shows run smoothly. As the teacher, I would be able to use the headsets to help troubleshoot and keep in contact with students in the house and backstage. The radios would also help alert me to missing cues, wardrobe malfunctions, injuries, etc. Two-way radios would also allow me and the assistant theatre director to keep in contact throughout the school day. We would be able to communicate such items as changes in school schedule, theatre usage, share ideas over upcoming class projects, and teaching strategies.
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