Welcome to a continuing series of tips on working with large groups of children. I hope that you will find these tips useful and be able to implement them in your dealings with large groups of kids. If you do, please leave a comment and let us know. For a complete list of posts in this series, please see the index page. So, without further introduction, here is today’s installment.
This idea was new for me when I started teaching and not one I was particularly comfortable with. I am not much of an actor, and I never envisioned myself “doing characters,” but I like to hear kids laugh so I gave it a try. Introverted though I am, I stepped into my very first character role in front of a room full of five and six year olds the very first weekend I taught the large group portion of our curriculum. That morning, Professor Knows-A-Lot was born. Even thought he is not all that creative in the scheme of things, he has become a recurring character in our classroom to the point where the kids frequently ask when he’s coming back. The kids really stay engaged when he shows up, even if it is just to point out how much he looks like me! There is actually an on-going debate in our classroom as to whether Professor Knows-A-Lot and I are actually the same person. I think the photo I took in from the family picnic proved that we are not! Nonetheless, with a simple wig and a really bad English accent, the kids have a “guest” they look forward to seeing every month or two, and they get a chance to listen to someone other than just me. Don’t be afraid to step out of your own skin and into someone else’s.