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Insight into the DREAMS method: students can share very difficult emotions!

Adrián Crescini, educator from La Xixa Teatre (Spain) shares his experience with the DREAMS piloting:


"The best thing about the Dreams pilot was that the students were able to get on stage and have the possibility of getting out a series of difficult emotions, which are often forbidden in school environments. For me it was super shocking. I still remember those moments. It was interesting to explore how to accompany and take care of them so that they could say this, as a catharsis. But also as a creative catharsis. The idea we wanted to work on was that the violence that was brewing at some point should not come back if it has already happened. And especially among the youngest children when they go from primary to secondary school, when they are at a very vulnerable stage. The most difficult thing for me was how to receive the feedback from the youngsters. It was very difficult for me, because I noticed they really wanted to say many things which were happening, things that were not nice, but which were very difficult to work with specially because we were in the school setting. We need to talk about the violence to address it, but sometimes violent issues are not politically correct, and are very difficult to make visible in schools, even if it is where the violence is happening. I think that was the most difficult thing for me: being able to raise sensitive issues in that environment. Another difficulty is having to speak with the language and with the conscience with which young people of those ages speak. That was a challenge for me. It was difficult to speak the same language, be pragmatic and also adapt to different levels of maturity. Raising the issues that we worked on, we had to be looking at who could reach and who could not understand the problem. Indeed, there was the risk that some might misinterpret the exercises because of the different stages of maturity. As advice to other teachers, I would encourage them to push the students, always accompanying them and making sure they are safe, but getting them out of their comfort zone. In this way, they can express everything that happens to them. Otherwise, nobody ever says anything of what is really going on, and even though things are not spoken about in the classroom, they will still be said outside, and very likely in other ways: perhaps with physical or psychological violence, etc., in spaces where we are not looking."