When Byng Secondary drama teacher, Matthew Thiessen, heard during spring break that in-class instruction would be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his first thought was: “How am I supposed teach drama online?!”
“One recurring activity in my drama classes is Question of the Day. At the start of class we sit in a circle and one by one answer a question, such as ‘what movie would you like to live inside?’ or ‘would you rather have to sit or stand for the rest of your life?’” says Thiessen.
The activity allows each voice to be heard, and for students to share their individuality. A priority for transitioning to learning from home was maintaining connections and community. Thiessen was therefore able to adapt Question of the Day using Microsoft Teams – keeping his students connected to him and each other. Very popular with his classes, 90 of his students were responding immediately to the Question of Day, virtually.
Thiessen is also part of the District’s Drama Teachers Teams group, where drama teachers across the District share resources, ideas and assets. “Though we all miss our classes, in the meantime we are doing what we can to keep the connections alive among our wonderful students,” adds Thiessen.
This demonstrates the creativity and adaptability teachers throughout the District are adopting for students as they continue to learn from home during these times.
Watch the video to see students engaging in Theissen’s online class: