1. I don't even know what improv is. What the hell are you talking about? I do not need another thing to learn. This isn't on The Test™. Go away.
2. Isn't improv, like, games and stuff? Unless it's a math game, I really don't have time for it in my classroom.
3. Acting isn't a serious career choice. Nobody actually makes it in acting. Okay, so like, 1 in a million. The rest are working as waiters in expensive cities and that's a terrible thing to doom a child to. Kids learning how to act is a waste of time.*
4. If I let my students do improv, I won't have control of the situation. Something really inappropriate could happen!
5. It's too complicated. Some references say there are only 3 rules. Some say 5. Tina Fey says 4. If nobody can agree on this, how could I possibly teach it?
6. Did I mention that improv is not on The Test™?
7. Teaching students how to think on their feet is another way of teaching them how to be better liars. Nobody will thank me for that.
8. School isn't supposed to be funny. This is work, dammit.
9. It's not my job to teach kids how to work together. Working together is not on The Test™.
10. I'm just not comfortable with it. The kids will see that. I can't do something I'm not comfortable with. Please just go away.
Got that out of your system?
Now I'm going to give you the one reason to teach kids how to do improv in your classroom:
Improv teaches kids how to communicate, how to collaborate, how to think critically and be creative all at the same time and requires no technology at all.**
I'm not kidding.
It does all that, and it gets kids more comfortable with public speaking, and with analysis and even with writing. And it's really, really good for kinesthetic learners. (And we're usually pretty bad at including those kids in our lessons unless we're the gym teacher.)***
Want to try some simple games? Try here. Push a little outside your comfort zone. Your students will thank you for it.
*Raise your hand if you've ever said (or thought real loud) "Didn't anybody teach this child how to act!? ARGH!" Yeah. I thought so. Me, too.
**We had our network go out today and I swear it was nearly apocalyptic for some of us.
***Yes. I'm totally aware that's more than 1 reason.