Post written by: Polly Ferguson
Putting a group of children together and asking them to devise work is no easy task. It raises many skills that children need to develop at some point in their life. These skills such as, listening to one another, being respectful of each other’s opinion, taking turns, be able to carry out a task, be able to understand the balance of discussing ideas and trying them out, time management, understanding it’s ok for ideas to be starting blocks for something greater!
These on paper look like simple skills but when you get a group of children with different upbringings, backgrounds, personalities, abilities and opinions, these can prove to be extremely challenging tasks. So after a productive week faced with many challenges during devising I thought I would write a few of my top tips when devising.
1 . Firstly be self-aware. Its really easy to point the finger at others and say they wouldn’t listen etc. Think about how you can approach the situation differently. Are you someone who talks over others or someone who sits back fearful to share ideas. Be thoughtful towards others. Being self aware will help you to understand how you are when working with others.
2. Listen, listen, listen. Don’t just disregard someone’s ideas so you can tell your idea.
3.Know when to stop talking and try out an idea ?
4. If you feel you are struggling to get someone assign one person to be director for a short while.
5. Make the most of your time. You can talk about what your going to do at for dinner during the break.
6. Be encouraging. Everyone loves praise, so don’t be afraid to say when your peer is doing well. I guarantee it will make them smile from ear to ear, knowing that you have taken note of what they are doing. Praise doesn’t always have to come from a director, teacher or parent!
7. Have fun. Embrace the experience of working with people different to you. You may learn something new!
8. Lastly take pride in your work! When you present it in front of a group have confidence in what you have created. It’s yours, so own it and be proud to share it.
Hope these tips can help you in future.