Educators' Perspectives

A safe space that allows each child to enjoy a process

Samta Shikhar
– HOD Theatre Department

Working at Head Start for more than a decade now, experiencing the energies of children everyday, and engaging with them, has been such an enriching experience for me personally. It has developed my understanding of theatre for children in more depth than I ever knew.The learning, I feel, cannot be theoretical or found in books or a curriculum. It is the practical experience of being on the floor with children, and doing the work with them as collaborators, during which the creation and learning has always happened!

It is also the profound questions from children that make me think--to the repetition of a task that makes me understand the depth of it, to the failure of some sessions leading nowhere, to plays that have emerged, to processes that have remained just a journey and not a creation. All these have been a lab of creativity at a school where there is utmost focus on the process rather than the outcome. It is a natural process which relieves the students and facilitators from having to prove themselves, becoming a journey to explore and experience.This in itself is a blessing at Head Start.

When a little one enters a theatre session saying "I want to do it, but I don't want to go on stage"; or, "Can we question the education system, will the school get upset?" that we realise the freedom to question that our school has given children.

It is only because Head Start creates a safe space that allows each child to enjoy a process, and not worry about a show or performance; encourages the child to question and discuss, that I as a facilitator can say YES to the children.This has lead to discerning minds and evolving children that I have encountered at school. All my gratitude to those who make this space "Head Start" happen.