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Problem Solved!

April 2, 2009

I did an improvisation activity this year to help kids with problem solving.  I gave them real-life situations, like, “Your friend wants you to get high with her.  What do you do?” and then had them do an improvisation to solve the problem.  Overall the kids did very well, but I have to share a couple problem solving decisions I found particularly interesting:

  • Problem: “Your friend tries to get you to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night.  What do you do?”
  • Solution: Find a way to sneak out quietly, so Mom doesn’t hear you.
  • Teacher response (as I watched one student help the other climb out an imaginary window and shimmy down an imaginary tree): “Uhh….  I think you missed the real problem there.”

I promise I tried not to laugh.  I wasn’t very successful.

In my most challenging period I got frustrated because they were trying to make a joke out of every serious situation.  One student, doing an improv about how his girlfriend just broke up with him and he didn’t think life was worth living, pulled out his cell phone as a prop and pretended to slice his wrists with it… because it was a Motorola RAZR.  So distasteful, but at the same time… so clever.  I mean, come on….  You have to appreciate the creativity, even if it was in poor taste!  Of course I got on my soapbox and talked about how they needed to take these situations seriously and all that good teacher stuff… that suicide isn’t something to joke about… yadda yadda yadda.

But inside I was peeing my pants.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 4, 2009 6:58 pm

    As I was reading the scenario regarding the climbing out of windows, I wondered how many of your readers would remember a time they, or their children, did the exact same thing. Or maybe sneaking out a back door? I don’t know…just a thought.

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