Janea Dahl, author and founder of Drama Notebook, shares her insights, encouragement and philosophy with you. With a BA in theatre and countless hours teaching public school students in her award winning workshops each year; she has the knowledge and resources to lead you on your way!
Let me start off by saying that I do not actually believe that there is such a thing as a ‘shy’ child. There are children who are cautious about joining in or performing right away. These are often the children who are outgoing and creative at home, but who take a lot of time to warm up to others in groups. I also believe that it is harmful to label a child as ‘shy,’ as it can turn out to be a generalization stuck on a person for a lifetime.
It feels appropriate that my first blog on Drama Notebook is a tribute to my mentor, Dr. Tom Gressler. He’s a wiry little man with wild white hair and piercing blue eyes. He looks like Einstein…or a magician, and he has the creative genius and magical ways about him to match.
I had the good fortune of studying with him at a small college in rural Oregon, USA. In the early eighties, Linfield College was the educational home to 1,200 students; perhaps twenty were theatre majors. Our classes were small, and held in a large black space that used to be the library in an historical building.
Dear Janea, I’ve been asked by the local education office here in south west Ireland to teach drama to at-risk youth in a local outreach centre. Youth Reach helps kids with problems such as substance abuse, literacy problems and basically kids who have slipped through the cracks in our education system.
Dear Janea, I’m getting ready to teach two elementary drama classes that start after the first of the year. I have taught a little high school drama but this is my first venture with elementary students. I will have a 2-3 grade class and a 5-6 grade class of about 16 students each. My objective is to have a lot of fun and prepare a short play (about 15 minutes) for each class to present. I will take any suggestions you may have to offer!
Hello Janea, I am very happy to reach your platform. I am Corine, initially a social worker and a stage director, I am very recently teaching drama in a school – for kids grade 1 to 5. Unfortunately, these kids have focus problems, catching their attention and triggering their interest is very hard.
Dear Janea, First of all, I wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful resources I have found on your website. They are extremely helpful and seem like a lot of fun.
I work for a nonprofit organization in Cleveland that works with low-income middle school students. I have worked with them for a year as a drama teacher, and I have taught three different sessions of drama. I have used up almost all of my drama ideas, and since I will be teaching almost all of the same kids again this summer, I am trying to find new, creative ideas to keep them engaged.