What does it take to inspire
Kurt Vonnegut famously said that in teaching “the medium is the human mind and spirit.” If that’s true, then hats off to Lucy Sedlacek, a Year 10 advisor and dance teacher at Melrose High School. Every day she creates inspiring and meaningful projects for her learners that are the ultimate expression of mind and spirit, using the remarkable language of dance.
Ever since the Essential Fluencies were introduced to Melrose School, Lucy has used them in her teaching practices. One of her recent Fluency projects involves dance in advertising. “Lately, dance has been increasingly popular in advertising for a number of different products,” Lucy says. The project, called Dance in Advertising, challenged her learners to create their own original advertisement incorporating dance movement to sell their product.
How do we plot a
path to success?
Students began by exploring different types of TV ads for different products, and what the specific qualities are that make some ads more memorable than others. “Ads surround us every day everywhere in a variety of sources,” Lucy reminded them. “Some are interesting and thought-provoking, while others are easily forgotten.” Learners were then faced with the challenge of using dance to develop a unique and memorable piece of advertising. But that wasn’t all.
In addition to designing original choreography for their projects, they also had to come up with a whole new product that their ad was designed to promote. “I received a number of awesome adverts from the students promoting a range of things from lipstick to chocolate which was a lot of fun,” recalls Lucy.
“As a teacher, I have been able to focus more on the students and their abilities,” she adds. “I am able to encourage them to explore what they choose and in the process they are often able to teach me about what matters to them.”
How do we measure
growth and progress?
How do we continue to
improve and excel?
All in all, Lucy and her students have thoroughly enjoyed their experiences learning with the Essential Fluencies, and are looking forward to more terrific dance class adventures.
“When using the Fluencies in the classroom, students are able to take on responsibility for their own work and take ownership,” Lucy claims. “When they take on the ownership of the work that they are producing and make it relevant to themselves in their world, they are able to produce work that I would not have expected which still blows me away.”
As the Fluencies continue on in Melrose classrooms, the focus will be on supporting younger students transitioning into Melrose as they become familiar with the processes themselves. “As far as I am aware, the school is continuing to roll out the Fluencies across each subject, and soon each teacher will be implementing them within their classrooms so that we can share our students’ success,” she says.