Diversity Teaching Drama

Creating a Safe Drama Classroom

Creating a Safe Drama Classroom
Written by Kerry Hishon

Safety is an important aspect of teaching any subject, including drama. It is essential that everyone walking into the drama classroom feels safe — physically, emotionally, and socially. Unfortunately we cannot make any place entirely risk-free, but we can take steps to make our drama classrooms comfortable for all learners. And as much as possible, we can include our students in the process.

Here are five articles to get you started on safety in the drama classroom:

As a class discussion or as a journal prompt, have students respond to the following questions:

  • What does safety mean to you?
  • What does it mean to have a safe drama classroom? Why is it important?
  • Do you believe a safe space is possible? Is there another phrase that’s more appropriate? (Some prefer to use the phrase “brave space.”)
  • Are you comfortable in our classroom? Why or why not?
  • What is one thing that could be changed to improve the safety of our drama classroom?

The responses to the last question can be particularly useful. If your students are worried about bullying, create a class code of conduct together. If students need allyship or a place to speak privately, you could hang up safe space posters and an office hours sign near the door. If the room seems inaccessible or cluttered, can it be rearranged to improve the flow of traffic? Can you acquire additional storage for costumes and props or get hooks installed for students to hang up their coats and bags, so there’s less chance of tripping over stuff? Do you have a first aid kit for your classroom, and does everyone know where it is? Taking these steps demonstrates to your students that you are committed to the safety of the classroom.

You can also use our free worksheet (click below) to keep students thinking about safety. It’s a ten-question fill-in-the-blank worksheet, but watch out — there are more words in the word bank than blanks. An answer key is included. You may want to go over the answers as a class. Students may have chosen different words than the words indicated in the answer key, and it’s interesting to hear why they chose the words they did.

Click here for a free student worksheet and answer key.

Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at www.kerryhishon.com.

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About the author

Kerry Hishon

Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage combatant from London, Ontario, Canada. View her blog at www.kerryhishon.com.