I just completed a class and this is the second time a student in the same class has cried. Different students, different situations.
Let me first go through the first situation.
It was the first session of my Speech & Drama programme and during my first session is where I will make all my students stand and do a little bit of acting as a form of self-introduction.
Not for this one student who bravely raised her hands to volunteer to be the first to introduce herself because when she did stood up, she broke down and cry. It’s uncommon for me because I don’t usually encounter such situations but how would I handle such a situation?
LEAVE THE STUDENT ALONE
Recognizing that the student suffered a stage fright, I just let her cry and go to the toilet accompanied by a friend. She came back and did her self-introduction last and has been very participative ever since!
I’m into my last few session and today’s session happened to be CASTING.
I have a very simple strategy for casting with kids, I list down all the characters that I need first and go through the unpopular roles first. Before I start, I always have a disclaimer, “Choose your characters first or be contented with whatever character that I eventually throw you into”. This is something that I will repeat 3 times just to ensure that everyone Listens, Understands and Internalizes.
Of course, for certain characters, I’d get more than what I’m needed and resolution for such issues is always settled using the students method. It’s either through Scissors, Papers, Stones if we’re down to just two candidates or I will start them off with Black or White for me to narrow down my choices.
Yes, some of you probably frown on my choice and strategy on how I do casting but when I’m the type of teacher who lets the students decide which role they want to shine in. Some of them may be vocally unsuitable because of their softer tone of voice but if they happen to be the only one who dares to take up that role, why not? It’s a school and if I don’t give create and give them the opportunity, when else can they have it?
So, this afternoon, one student cried because she didn’t get the role that she wanted. She was the last one I wrote the name on the board to complete my line of casts and here’s what happened.
Her friends had already volunteered for Role 1 and I wrote her name down. She ran to the board and cleaned it because she didn’t want that role. So, when the last role was given, she refused it and wanted the previous role instead BUT that role was already filled up. I could create an extra space to accomodate her but that wouldn’t be fair to the rest of her classmates who were given the same options and opportunity.
When I began rehearsing, she was crying too and this happened all the way till the end of class. So, I eventually went up to her and decided to get her to speak to me.
“Are you angry at me? Are you unhappy with me? If you want to tell me something, then you tell me now. If you want to change roles, you tell me now. The moment I step out of this school, there will be no more changes. You will take on that role and I will see you next week playing that role”
She shook her head and stood one corner wiping her tears refusing to speak to me.
Now, the whole point of sharing this story is actually about the importance of living with the Decision and Choice made and it has to start from young.
Why let the child suffer from young you may ask?
I’m not letting the child suffer, I’m letting the child learn how to deal with sufferings that the child will face as an adult when bad decisions and choices are made.
Far too often, I’m sure, as adults, we have all come across individuals who do the following:
- Throw a tantrum
- Blame everyone else for their demise BUT THEMSELVES
I’m not the type of person to entertain sulking or tantrums simply because it doesn’t deserve one to be entertained, it deserves a time for self-reflection for the individual.
Put it simply, we all make Bad Decisions and Bad Choices at some point of time in our lives but how do we deal with it?
Do we ask ourselves these simply questions:
- Why did I make that Decision/Choice?
- How was I forced to make that Decision/Choice?
- Was I given an opportunity to reverse that Decision/Choice? Did I take it? Why didn’t I take it?
If it’s too difficult to REFLECT, how about this then?
When you die and you go to HELL, do you blame God for putting you there or do you blame the decisions/choices made in life you took for sending you to Hell?
Did God give you opportunities to reverse the decisions/choices made?
Why didn’t you take up those opportunities? OR are you going to blame the Devil for implicating you in his plan for Hell?
Did God not tell you to be wary of the Devil?
So, you see, our entire life is full of Decisions and Choices to be made which will eventually send us to our most rightful place in the after-life. So, if you or your child or student doesn’t learn how to manage the Decisions and Choices that they make early on in life, they will never learn how to think through of the consequences and will continue to make bad decisions/choices until the day they eventually die.
Having said that, our job as adults is also to ensure that opportunities are given to explain and warn them of the consequences. For certain activities, their decisions may be allowed to be reversed for them to have a feel of what it will be like should a different decision/choice be made.
Happy Decision Making!
PS: If you want to read about a certain decision making process, read my previous entry on Brannigan’s 6 Steps of Moral Reasoning.