Saturday, November 8, 2014

No Child - A Visit from Nilaja Sun

No Child - A Visit from Nilaja Sun
Bahar Cetinsoy

“Your soul grows, and your students grow. Your students’ heart thanks you” says Nilaja Sun.
The Graduate Program in Educational Theatre at The City College of New York invited the actress and a great teaching artist, Nilaja Sun as a guest speaker .   

Nilaja shared  her teaching experience  in New York’s toughest schools. She told her story by playing in the role of characters at the school she taught through a performance of “No Child”.

Through “No Child”  Nilaja showed us the profile of the students, the staff, and the culture of the school by an outstanding performance. I was mesmerized by her talent in acting. I was very interested in how we were introduced with  each character by her sudden transformation from one  to another . 

Her excellent ability to use her gestures, body posture, tone of voice and facial expression made the story very real and made us understand what it  feels like being a teaching artist with students in the school. She presented controversial  issues regarding  New York City education, and the education system that actually leaves students behind by inhibiting their learning.  

One thing in particular stood out to me was when she said she wanted to teach in order to touch lives. I was in tears when she said that we are not teaching these kids how to be leaders, in fact we make them ready for jails. In other words, she meant this is what the system does to those kids. What she wanted to do was exactly the opposite of what the system does. She said that she wanted to teach in the most disadvantaged schools in New York City, the city that raised her. 

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