Recently we've heard more disturbing stories about principals banning plays and teachers having to fight with new administrators to keep using plays in their classrooms. We all know the ironies here. These types of principals are obsessed with test scores, but they forbid the very teaching tools that would actually increase those scores and get students more engaged in the classroom!
What a world. But given that the academic climate is what it is, we want to provide you with more tools you can use to get the administrative support you need.
Below is a real, successful letter that one of our teachers wrote and used to get permission to put on one of our plays in her classroom. You are welcome to modify it for your own needs!
If you have your own letter (or other method) that worked, please send it to us! We will post it on our web site in our resources section for other teachers to use.
Finally, if you are a principal -- or you have a principal -- who supports using musical plays at your school, please get in touch with us.
I would like to do a class play on immigration called We Come from? Everywhere. It ties in with our immigration theme, which is part of the? fourth grade curriculum. It also teaches about diversity, of which we have? very little here! I will have the students practice during their ?library time, which we have for two days a week in December. I don't mind giving up my prep time for a few weeks. If you? approve this, we would like to present the play to third and fourth ?graders and parents in January. It is a 25-minute play.
Here are some of ?the reasons I think that doing a play is beneficial to students:
- Students have to read a script and read it fluently. Fluency is an ?issue for several of my students and this is a motivating way for them to ?willingly do repeated readings. Students read their lines as well as ?their classmates' lines.
- The students have to memorize their lines and that is a great exercise ?for the brain. The frameworks require our students to memorize something.
- Students become fluent readers by reading and singing songs. Also our ?school does not have a music teacher so we do not have them singing? enough in our school. I will likely have a friend come in and help with ?the singing.
- Our new common core frameworks are huge on drama. The children need to? understand what a drama is, what stage directions are, and more.
- Speaking is also huge in the new common core frameworks.
- Students need to work together to make a play a success. I strive to? have my class act like a family - supporting each other through thick and? thin. Doing a play enhances that.
- It integrates the curriculum - in this case, immigration.
- It gets parents involved. Many parents never step foot in the school,? but they all come out for a play that their child is in. Having that? contact with them makes school seem like a parent friendly place and they? are more likely to get involved in the future.
- Doing a play is fun, educational, and rewarding.
Please let me know if doing an immigration play is okay. Thank you.
What we especially like about this letter:
- It's written from the point of view of an involved and caring teacher, with specifics about her particular students and how a play will meet their academic needs.
- It incorporates the common core. Every one of our plays fulfills multiple common core standards, and we have links to all the standards met by each play on our web site. You can add these specifics to your letter.
- It provides specifics about when and how the students will work on the play. It is terrible that this teacher had to give up her prep time for this purpose, but by explaining how the play will get done, she assures the principal that the play will not interfere with more traditional classroom time.
- It mentions how plays can incorporate subjects/types of learning that the school doesn't have another way to offer (in this case, music).
- It mentions a few of the many bonus benefits of plays, including class camaraderie and parental involvement.
If you have a successful letter, please send it to us!