Monday, 1 July 2019

Planning Trips - Not Yet My Cup of Tea

Last year I attended a play called Yes, Yes, Yes. This play followed the two stories of two couples, addressing issues around consent, or lack of. There was lots of student voice included within the performance around their relationships and things they wish they knew about. I thought that this would be a great learning opportunity for my Senior Health students, to start discussions. So immediately I started planning!

This was the first trip I had planned before. Up until now I had helped supervise on trips, but never actually needed to complete the paperwork before. To be completely honest, I can see why many people are put off - there was soooo much admin! Between permission letters, trip approval, booking buses, budgeting, risk management forms, medical reports, play tickets, relief and chasing up kids it was certainly a learning curve. I learnt a lot along the way though, and thankfully I had months to get everything sorted. 

On June 18th I took 22 students to see the play, hosted by Auckland Live in Aotea Centre. I was very nervous I had forgotten something or that something was going to go wrong - but I was literally getting on a bus, going into a theatre and then bussing back, so of course there was little chance of anything happening (I am trying to be less  less paranoid!). The kids were actually incredible, so well behaved and really respectful towards me and members of the public, which made the day smooth sailing.

We were stoked to get front row seats, which also meant we were super close to the stage! During the show, there were a few opportunities for students to stand up and speak one of the character's parts. I was really proud when two OC students volunteered first out of the 100 odd people there, and they represented us so well!

There were two 'pauses' during the show. These pauses were an opportunity for members of the audience to share how they were feeling, what they were thinking about and any questions or concerns that may be running through their minds. This was such a great way for the students to reflect on what they had seen so far, and a simple yet effective way to demonstrate that many of the audience members were feeling and thinking similar things.

Once we got back to school I debriefed with students and we had rich discussion about some of the messages that came from the play. The overall consensus was that the play was fantastic to accomodate the learning and discussions we are having in class around consent, pornography, pressure, sexuality and gender, highlighting some of the issues but being very careful and inclusive in the process. Please see alongside some of the comments the students made.

Despite the lengthy admin trail to get the students there, I am so glad that I did. It was certainly an experience some of the students have never had before and the learning they took away from the day was worth everything to get them there. Assuming the play is performed again next year, I have put into our course outline a course cost so that the play is included in the course, rather than an optional trip, so more students can have the opportunity and experience.

I look forward to finding more cool opportunities for the students, not only for their learning but also mine about trip planning!