We are half way through the school year! This is where all educators say, “Where has the time gone?” High school students are finishing up mid-term exams and projects and teachers are frantically grading them. These summative assessments are supposed to measure a half a year of learning somehow. In one class at Concord High School, students will be engaged in performing improvisation for their assessment. Tomorrow, they will be in their small groups, each student will be one fictional character they have studied throughout the semester and will now interact with other fictional characters in a pre-determined setting they chose. The rest will unfold in the moment. When preparing, the students have reflected on how difficult improv is. Being present in the moment, really listening, setting others up for success, problem solving, using “Yes and…” attitudes while showing their knowledge of the characters and the context of the characters…this is challenging work. Not to mention performing in front of their peers! Students need to practice this type of work, and often. Semi-planned improv is a metaphor for life. We all have plans, but situations pop up and we just have to deal with it. We go with it. Teachers know this more than anyone. Yes, improv is challenging, but so is life. Let’s help students practice improv. By practicing improv, they are learning how to be flexible in life.

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