Innovative Ways to Act
With a hybrid format at the Elementary•Middle School, electives are more important than ever to provide students a break from screens and an opportunity to be active and creative. Drama, a new elective at EMS, offers both. Drama teacher Carolyn Aliskevicz, a talented actress herself, has found innovative ways to help the students continue to express their creativity, whether in an in-person or remote environment.
"When we're on campus, we hold classes outside, moving, stretching, pretending, and using our voices," Aliskevicz said. "Remotely, we focus more on facial expressions and language expression, including group and solo storytelling."
In a previous teaching position, Aliskevicz taught drama to students in grades K–12 at the Dr. Franklin Perkins School. She developed activities for elementary students to help them improve their communication skills by first having them use only their physical bodies and facial expression, and then adding voice.
"To be able to be expressive using your body makes you a more interesting person and it allows you to begin to develop characters that have certain walks and different attributes," she said. "The elementary students really enjoy this sort of work. Electives are a super important part of the school day because they allow our students to exercise talents other than academics. Drama allows students to stretch, move, and be creative. It allows the students to shine in ways that academia can not allow."
Ever the optimist, Aliskevicz sees a benefit of the mask mandate. "Masks have challenged the students to really project their voices and articulate behind a mask," she said.