Hellenic College Students Engage with Community
By Claire Barden
Hellenic College Class of 2018
Every semester, Hellenic College offers a unique opportunity to Elementary Education students to take the Philosophy of Education course, taught by the head of the Elementary Education program, Dr. Alice McIntyre. Within this course, the students are required to spend fifteen hours at the Footlight Club, a community theatre in Jamaica Plain. During the Fall semester, Hellenic College students Alianna Chapekis, Fotini Dorrance, Alexandra Drechsler, Vasili Frangias, and Christina Randol worked with the director and a group of children to put on a performance of a musical titled “E-I-E-I-Oops.” The objective of the course was to become familiar with “the basic principles of theatre, music, and dance and their relationship to education.”
According to participating students, that objective was fulfilled. Fotini Dorrance (Hellenic ’18) said her experience at the Footlight Club was “eye-opening” and made her realize “how much more you can do aside from sticking to a traditional lesson plan.”
Alexandra Dreschler (Hellenic ’18) said that her experience at the Footlight Club enhanced her understanding of teaching by “seeing examples of how Carol [the director] interacted with the children…she was gentle, loving, and caring. She had a great way of letting the children be chaotic, yet taking control when needed.”
Both Dreschler and Dorrance expressed how great it was to be able to have “class time” outside of the traditional classroom. Dorrance called her weekly experience at the Club “the highlight of my week.” Dorrance also said that the opportunity to go to the Club allowed her to understand what was being taught in the classroom on a deeper level. “What I didn’t really understand in class, I understood once we implemented it at the Footlight Club.”
All five of the Hellenic College students did an excellent job working with the children at the Club, using what they had learned in their course with Dr. McIntyre and implementing it on their own.