You may have noticed that our blog has included only limited pictures of the children we are teaching. There are good reasons for this – first, it was pointed out that these children have no ability to object to being posted on social media etc. Therefore, it is incumbent on us not to exploit them. Secondly, there have been situations where the children’s whereabouts have been used to track down parents/relatives – the last thing we want to do is put their family members in any more danger than they already face.
So I have decided to provide some pen portraits of the children in our classes:
One lad is almost certainly hyperactive, but is a smashing kid nonetheless, quite charming. He has made huge progress in the ‘orchestra’, from being totally unable to control any kind of percussive rhythm to being quite measured in the last couple of sessions. Noting his potential for being disruptive, Chris explained to him that his part would be the black panther, that comes on at the end of Luck and Fate – his delight at having such a part has meant that he has been really engaged.
The chatty, bossy girl in the class had to be ‘talked to’ about ‘high-fiving’ with a drawing pin in her hand. Since then, she has been a superstar, organising the girls’ dancing scene and helping everyone don their bandanas and sashes when sorting costumes today.
The acrobats in The Peddlar’s Daughter are generally a rather quiet and withdrawn trio, who leapt (literally) at the opportunity to show what they can do – our concerns about their being able to perform flips, handstands and cartwheels on the concrete floor without mats were met with sneers of derision.
Several children are very withdrawn, but we feel we are making progress – the odd smile, more engagement with the other kids, seeing their feeling of achievement when they take their turn performing.
Interestingly, there is a a level of rivalry between the two groups (they compare notes between lessons to make sure we are treating them equally!). We feel that they have come on so much in our second week working with them. I’m not sure whether they quite know what expectations we have of them for next week’s performance. What I do know is that they have high expectations of us as teachers, which I feel I have too often failed to live up to, but there have been magical moments when I think I have been able to make a difference.