By Tim Montgomery
At The Piedmont School, we are strong advocates of exploring and better understanding the ways in which our students learn. Learning is more than paper, pencil and lecture at The Piedmont School, and the way we differentiate in our classrooms is driven not so much by how we teach, but how our students learn. We use the same philosophy for our extracurricular classes, as well. We see the classes such as PE, art, music and drama as additional ways for our students to achieve the success that serves to raise their self-esteem. I have always been an advocate of raising the self-esteem of young people in order to help them achieve at a higher level. We all seem to perform better when we feel good about ourselves, and have confidence in ourselves to successfully complete a task. Students with an ADHD/LD diagnosis seem to suffer from low self-esteem more than other students. Accompanying this low self-esteem can be a social awkwardness that is hard for young people to overcome. Taking a theater or drama class can often prove to be useful for students with low self-esteem. They are able to observe other students interacting with each other in real life, as well as in the world of make-believe. Playing a role gives a timid, socially awkward student the opportunity to show confidence while portraying a character, which often will help them to become more confident in real life. The stage can serve to level the playing field for students and give our young men and women the opportunity they need to shine.
We do not limit these exercises to the classroom. We help our students see that the sky is the limit with what they can accomplish, and that they are capable of achieving more than they ever dreamed. In the spring of 2014, The Piedmont School students performed The Lion King before a crowd of over 350 people, and the results were amazing. At The Piedmont School, every student in the school has a role in the production, and everyone leaves the theatre with their confidence exploding. In the spring of 2015, we duplicated our effort as our students returned to the Community Life Center at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in High Point and performed the Seussical to another full house. Every student was again on stage for our performance, and the performance was once again a resounding success. Our music, drama, and art departments have done an amazing job preparing our students for this experience, and they are creating memories that will last a lifetime. In the spring of 2016, our school will perform Aladdin, and the excitement is already building.
Whether it is through participating on one of our athletic teams or playing a role in one of our productions, our students learn that the success they are seeing in their academic lives at The Piedmont School can spill over into their extracurricular lives as well. At The Piedmont School, it is our mission to be the Educational Oasis that Quenches the Thirst of Students who Learn Differently. We strive daily to be successful in that effort, no matter what the setting.
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