Last week during morning announcements Mrs. Debus’ explained that I had completed my Master’s degree in Education after two years of hard work, and an 83 page long thesis! This past Saturday, I graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Even though I am a teacher and have already gone through years of college I went back to school to learn more. I will never stop wanting to learn. Many of you have asked me what I was studying, so here is a brief explanation of my research.
The purpose of my research was to look at the impact of the performing arts on students’ lives. I wanted to study how being involved in a musical theatre production impacted students’ social and emotional learning. Social and emotional learning includes things like responsible decision making, working cooperatively with others, appreciating diversity, having self-confidence, having self-discipline, and more.
Through my research I discovered that the environment that evolves during the course of a musical theatre production provides the ideal atmosphere for the positive support of social and emotional learning.
We are very lucky to be at a school that supports the arts. You all participate in art and music as part of your basic education. And you have the opportunity to be in musicals and other performances. Be thankful! Many schools do not have those opportunities. Performing arts opportunities are very important. There are some of us who need to participate in the arts because the arts are a part of who we are! The arts help give meaning, joy, and fulfillment to our lives.
During the course of my research I realized that passion is everything. Each and every one one of you deserves to participate in experiences that you are passionate about. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the pages and pages of research that I compiled. It is by a very smart man named Sir Ken Robinson. He says:
“If we do not support students in the things they are passionate about we will be creating groups of people who grow up and don’t’ know who they really are.”
So, I ask you, my wonderful students. Are you supported in school in the things that you are passionate about? I am passionate about the arts! I am passionate about innovation and creativity in technology! I am passionate about learning!
What are you passionate about?