By C.M. Bateman and Kaitlyn Tran
In a blindside that devastated the students of Tahoma, more specifically our class of 2019, Summit Public Schools was about to not have the drama classes offered in their Expeditions program.
Summit students have the opportunity to take two Expeditions courses a year. The reason why the drama classes were almost not provided for the 2016-17 school year was because Summit was in a contract with the Mexican Heritage Plaza, a partner that wanted more money which Summit couldn’t afford, according to Caitlin Reilly, the director of Expeditions.
Because some of the teachers from the Mexican Heritage Plaza have good relationships with Summit, they were able to partner up with Summit again, Ms. Reilly explained.
“We have trouble finding good candidates in the pipeline. I know that Mr. J and Ms. Estrella are great teachers. We are open to offering three to four courses,” Ms. Reilly said, adding that the problem is how to find enough part-time teachers. “It’s sort of a structural hiring challenge.”
Estrella Esparza-Johnson teaches an advanced course in Modern Acting and an Introduction to Dramatic Arts course for the Expeditions team.”I think that it puts a lid on everybody’s academic achievement when you start limiting the options, the modes in which people can explore how to learn, how to think, how to perceive and to enter and explore the world.”
Personally, both of us felt an emotional attachment to the class during the previous year.
We had an attachment with our peers and the teachers, but also of the skills we developed and strengthened by performing and finessing the work.
We developed communication skills and were able to express ourselves through acting.
We were new students, unsure and anxious about our new school, new friends, new core classes, and through the privilege of an offered drama class.
We learned to become comfortable in both our Expeditions courses and regular curriculum.
After the first two weeks of taking the Advanced Acting course, I noticed I was able to break down my projects and assignments more easily and create more detail for my work.
In the end, drama class was very beneficial for us and we created deep connections from our experiences with people we didn’t even know in the beginning of the year.