Arts motivate pupils, drama teacher finds

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It was during her middle school years that Emily Hobbs fell in love with the theater.

Now, as a drama and music teacher, she hopes to promote a love of the arts in her young charges.

"I just have fun. The kids think I'm crazy, and I get excited when they get something," said Ms. Hobbs, who will be in her third year teaching at North Augusta Middle School this school year.

After attending Harlem Middle and Harlem High schools, she moved on to community productions with the Augusta Players and Storyland Theatre, which provided her a scholarship to Augusta State University. She is working on her master's degree at Southern Wesleyan University.

With the Augusta Players, she was cast as Belle in Beauty and the Beast in 2006 and Maria in West Side Story in 2004. Her favorite role was Belle, she said.

One of the highlights of the 2007-08 school year for Ms. Hobbs was watching her eighth-grade students take the stage in a full-length production of Fussin' an' a-Feudin' in the spring. It was the first time she had directed a full play at the school.

In the past, her pupils had performed snippets from A Christmas Caro and songs for different school programs.

"It was nice doing a spring production. The kids who are involved in athletics can do it, too, as well as the cheerleaders and band members," she said. "I'd like to do something on a smaller scale in the fall."

Her principal, Barry Head, is a great supporter of the dramatic arts and music, she said. She has seen a positive impact on the students who have taken part in her programs.

"I've had children who've been behavioral problems in an academic class but are angels in my class," she said. "My class provides an incentive. Eighth-graders can't be in my show with bad grades."

Ms. Hobbs has big plans for her music and drama pupils. She said she would like to get them more involved in the directing phase of productions, in addition to acting.

Reach Charmain Brackett at charmain.brackett@augustachronicle.com.

TEACHER OF THE MONTH: EMILY HOBBS

SCHOOL: North Augusta Middle School


GRADES TAUGHT: 6-8


SUBJECTS TAUGHT: Music and drama


YEARS AS A TEACHER: Five


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT TEACHING: Ms. Hobbs said she loves it when a pupil shows excitement over having grasped a concept.

WHAT IS COMMUNITY COUNTS?


Community Counts is The Augusta Chronicle's new collaborative effort to benefit the communities in our area. This multitiered program of involvement includes contests, events, sponsorships and recognition of outstanding youths,
teachers, volunteers and public servants in the Aiken/Augusta area.


Nomination forms are available online at augustachronicle.com/community counts, or you can e-mail Charmain Brackett at charmain.brackett@augustachronicle.com.

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