Entering a room confidently
Every week throughout the term, we have a different "life skill" focus running through everything we teach. These can range from the specific such as Eye Contact, or Using a Loud Voice to more general positive traits like Concentration or Kindness.
Last week, our focus was Entering a Room Confidently. This sounds very specific but of course it applies to any occasion where one has to join a group who might be already together - meaning that they need to put themselves in a new and potentially unfamiliar situation.
The daunting nature of doing this will be very familiar to most adults. Who enjoys walking by themselves into a party where they don't know anybody and introducing themselves to a group of people? Almost nobody! But, if you have acknowledged how this feels and developed techniques to deal with it, it's amazing how much easier and more enjoyable it becomes. And, by the way, this is just as true for adults as it is for children.
During the Perform workshop - through various games and role-play - we explored what is required to enter a room or join any new situation confidently. We weren't trying to encourage a theatrical or flamboyant entrance but we wanted to convey to the children how important it is that when you enter a new situation, it’s good to do so positively, firmly and calmly – and how body language can really help this.
For example, if you practise walking into a room with your head held high and standing tall, it not only makes you look confident but the body language will make you feel more confident too. And sometimes it can be as simple as that!
After the classes, I had some lovely feedback from a Mum who contacted us to say that her child had cried going into school every morning since the Christmas holidays. However, the Entering a Room Confidently workshop really helped her to understand that’s it’s just normal to feel scared sometimes and that, if you do, something as basic as changing the way you approach the situation can help massively. The morning after her Perform class, the girl went into school with a totally different attitude. Her mum told me that knowing that other people sometimes feel scared too made a huge difference for her and having her Perform teachers explain what to do if it happened clearly did the trick!
It’s lovely to receive this kind of feedback because, while Perform is all-singing, all-dancing and super fun, the real purpose of children attending is to develop their social skills and feel capable of doing whatever they want in life.