Message for IDEA Day - 27th November 2011
We are all inspired and can learn a great deal, from the many excellent drama teachers and theatre educators who are members of IDEA. As drama educators we all have a great deal we can learn from each other if we stay open to learning.
When we are involved in learning and creating drama and theatre with others, throughout the process, we are constantly helping shape young people’s attitudes and perceptions, helping them reflect on what it means to be human and on how to live and work well together. This is embedded in our work. The worlds we create together are often imaginary and yet can change the way children, young people and ourselves, think, feel and perceive the real world.
IDEA Day can be a day for us to share personal and professional reflections about our work. Maybe on IDEA Day this year, we can all pause to consider the following questions.
- What is the achievement you are most proud of in your work drama/theatre/education work this year? Tell someone.
- Has your practice and thinking changed at all in the last year? Why or why not?
The achievement I am most proud of this year, is that I gave up my employment in June to have more time available to work for IDEA. I have had no regrets.
I learned that ‘when one door closes, another opens’. My decision to be make myself more available for meeting and working with IDEA organizations and members worldwide has led to many more networking, advocacy and research opportunities on behalf of IDEA and to me being more proactive about seeking them. This has also proved personally and professionally enriching.
My own practice and thinking has been shaped this year by various experiences, the most memorable of which was being in Christchurch during the earthquake. I was about to speak at a Drama Conference there when it happened. Later, I watched a film of the work that Peter O’Connor has been carrying out since, with some of the children of Christchurch. The film of this work, ‘Earthquake: a teaspoon of light’ (on You Tube) coupled with having been in the earthquake, helped me to see afresh the powerful way that drama can provide a safe space for us to reflect on the past and help us build our hopes and dreams for the future.
Wherever you are in the world on IDEA Day, please give the questions above some thought and keep helping others to find hope and bring their dreams for the future alive through your work.
President of IDEA