Using Improv to Destress Students’ Test-Taking Anxiety
Below is just a sneak peak into how we can use Improv Shows, Classes, Workshops, Residencies and Professional Development programs to bring positive meaningful change to your students, faculty and staff.
- Removing Anxiety from Test Taking
- Building Confident Participating Students
- Reducing both Bully and Victim Behavior Patterns
- Increasing Attendance issues
Governor Cuomo said this week: “After listening to thousands of parents, educators and students, the Task Force has made important recommendations that include overhauling the Common Core, adopting new locally-designed high quality New York standards, and greatly reducing testing and testing anxiety for our students. The Common Core was supposed to ensure all of our children had the education they needed to be college and career-ready – but it actually caused confusion and anxiety. That ends now. Today, we will begin to transform our system into one that empowers parents, teachers and local districts and ensures high standards for all students. I thank the Task Force members for their thorough work. Together we will ensure that New York’s schools provide the world-class education that our children deserve.”
We use Improv Comedy to help teach a number of valuable skills – Creativity/Critical thinking, Community/Team and Leadership (Public Speaking, Self Confidence, Self Respect, listening, focus, eye contact etc).
We use Improv to teach and and inspire cultural arts (music, theater), language arts (public speaking, story telling) and character building (anti bully, self confidence, self respect, community/team).
Humor and creativity work in similar ways, says humor guru William Fry, M.D., of Stanford University–by creating relationships between two disconnected items, you engage the whole brain.
Few realize our most important role is the gift of laughter.
What can laughter do?
- Here are just some benefits for mental, physical and social health
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood
- Give a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles
- Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
- Increase the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells
- Defend against respiratory infections–reducing the frequency of colds–by immunoglobulon in saliva.
- Increase memory and learning; in a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, humor during instruction led to increased test scores
- Improve alertness, creativity, and memory
Improv has its own set of rules, but we have a few of our own that will help your students and staff deal with their day to day easier.
- HAVE FUN!!!
- NOTHING IS HARD
- BIG CHOICES
- BIG VOICES
- BIG MISTAKES
My number one rule. When you have fun, all the other problems in the world seem easier to handle. In Improv workshops we warm-up and play fun games. By focusing on the fun, we forget about both ego and insecurity.
NOTHING IS HARD
The second you label something as hard, you close yourself off to success. Like all negative re-enforcement, saying something is hard makes it hard. We teach students to turn that around. NOTHING IS HARD!!! Maybe you have not figured it out yet. Maybe you have to learn a new skill to complete a task. But when you say it is “HARD” you create a wall. Set your self up for success but having the confidence that you are capable of completing the task. So next time you are about to say “THIS IS HARD” catch your self and rethink the problem. “WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO FIGURE THIS OUT?”
Creating a story via Improv is a series of choices. BIG CHOICES move a story forward and make it interesting. Not every choice has to be perfect or brilliant. Keep it simple. Start with one choice. That choice leads to another choice.
When performing live, it is very important to project and speak clearly. From our first warm-up to our last performance game in a workshop, we teach to send your voice to the back of the room. Great communication starts with a clear message.
The idea of MAKING BIG MISTAKES is all about not fearing failure. Mistakes lead to great learning moments. Not fear mistakes leads to taking risks. By fearing mistakes, students escape within, or act out in over compensation. By breaking down those walls of ego and insecurity, we create students ready and eager to learn. Too often we make wimpy choices or choose not to act out of fear of doing it wrong.
The 90-10 Rule
90% of all things you hear are nonsense. But if you ignore the 90%, you will end up missing the 10% that will save your life. You don’t know what you don’t know. And if you don’t learn new things you cannot grow. You become stuck. We all need to open up to discover the amazing world that exists out there.
SO DOES ALL THIS HELP TEST TAKING?
- Improv Class provides a fun break every week. Simply adding a fun activity to the schedule breaks up the day to day tense atmosphere.
- We teach to rethink how students approach a challenge.
- Students become better students in all classes, attendance increases, participation increases… Students will be better prepared and ready to take a test, working smarter, not harder.
- We encourage teachers to star classes with a fun activity or even an improv game. Take 2-minutes to get the class moving on their feet. Better blood flow and physical movement removes stress.
- Confident students participate in class.
Call / Email today to learn more about our programs and rates
- Field Trips to NYC Theater
- School Assemblies
- After School Workshops
- In-School Residencies
- Professional Development for Teachers – Bring both Corporate Teambuilding and valuable ideas to bring to their classroom to increase student productivity.
Our teaching artist will introduce the art form through a hilarious show. The hilarious skits and songs alone are enough to destress your students and teachers. Schools should be a fun place. Teachers love our show as much as the students. All benefit.
Our workshops will introduce important concepts to the students. From the first moments we focus on being more confident, not fearing mistakes. Support your team mates. Build self confidence and self respect. Encourage projection and diction.
Or weekly class programs and residencies dive deeper into all of these skills, creating student leaders. These programs end with a performance element. Compared to traditional theater programs, their are no additional over costs beyond the teaching artist – no props, sets, script royalties etc. Showcase performances can be in a classroom, school auditorium or even our Times Square Theater.
Our Professional Develop programs offer teachers and staff valuable skills as well as ways to bring these programs into their classroom regardless of subject matter. Our programs create better teachers and better teams that communicate to build their departments.
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