Not a time for hesitation
As teachers, we need to address the widespread bias and bigotry, and the fear and aggression caused by racism.
In the moment-to-moment unfolding of a drama lesson the teacher is a leader, a guide, a witness and the responsible adult. And the responsibility starts before the children get anywhere near the door of the classroom. In her planning, the teacher creates moments that will enable the child to ‘hold the mirror up’ to the world we all live in. At the very least drama educates empathy and intuition, both of which are learned responses. Responses that we can guide and enable to develop in the interest of social justice. As teachers, we can’t wait until we feel we have sorted it all out in our own heads. We might feel guilty, nervous, struck dumb by the enormity of it all, but if we don’t do it who will? Neither can we wait until ‘someone’ has reviewed and re-shaped the curriculum. What is to stop us as we write our lessons here and now? It is our fingers on the keyboard, or that hold the pen. And a teacher might be the only person a child encounters who will offer this opportunity. As members of NATD we are committed to a child-centred, humanising education, one that is for all children.
“This is not the time for patience but for action against racism. Urgent action is needed to address widespread stereotyping, discrimination and the fear and violence caused by racism. In education, we must lead the way in breaking down the barriers caused by racism.” – Mary Bousted, NEU joint general secretary.
If anyone would like to set up a lesson share, or to discuss lessons in detail, please contact Maggie Hulson.
The executive committee for the National Association for the Teaching of Drama