My first impression of the Islamic class was that they were very young; ages between 3-14. As a person in Theatre Arts its always a joy to work with older kids who would understand concepts a lot better. However, I am always shocked when I work with younger kids. Their ability to grasp concepts always astound me. I was not seeking much, because my only purpose was to give back to the community and help inspire these kids with their upcoming performance.
What amazed me the most, was their ability to learn the spaces of the stage so quickly. I only had to show them a few of the spots and they all figured out the rest on their own. Children really do pick up a lot more than you would expect. If its one thing that I learnt today is to never underestimate the power of a child’s mind. I would openly admit though that most of them were very shy, and they all need to be brought out of their shells. Hopefully with my planned exercises they would be able to blossom :)
The thing is though, I probably only have less than 2 hours to work with them before they take to the stage in mid July. So my plan is to simplify, but yet still make it as effective as possible. They have about two songs and three skits to do. The skits more than likely would be narrated as the kids take on the actions. I honestly would have liked to push that boundary a little further, however with such limited time, I think its the best plan of action.
Working with kids can be so difficult at times. Its always hard to gain their attention. They are easily drawn away from what you are trying to teach them. During their break, they were like little ants running around with not a care in the world. Oh how I envy them! Today also made me realize how old I am getting and how time quickly passes by. I felt as if it was just yesterday I use to attend Islamic classes at the Mosque. I stopped because my life became so much more hectic.
Giving back to your community does wonder to your spirits. Makes you feel that you are actually doing something that is worth your time and energy. Inspiring these kids to help them with their confidence on stage is more satisfying than anything that I have done in a long while. Even though I have a very short time to work with them. Whatever we come up with to perform for the congregation, I am very sure all of them would make me proud.
Always looking at life,
Shahad the Sentinel