Dance, Drama and Performance and Stamina
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Students can experience difficulties with their stamina for a number of different reasons. It may be that they have difficulties with their physical stamina which could be as a result of physical disabilities or the fact that they experience pain associated with certain movements. They may also experience problems associated with the level of stamina required to stay on top of a heavy workload or reading load. Mental stamina could be affected by visual or language difficulties which result in students having to work twice as hard as other students in order to keep up, or it could be as a result of medication that they are taking for a medical condition.
Any medication used to control difference diseases and/or medical conditions needs to be fully understood in terms of their possible side effects. Tutors may need to discuss these with the student and to consider the effect that unexpected tests or assignments (for example) may have on the student. Greater consideration may also by needed for granting extensions. For a small number of students, health and safety issues may need to be considered, although it is hoped that students with medical conditions such as epilepsy or asthma will usually have a realistic idea of their limitations.
Etiquette and Strategies
- Avoid discussing any student conditions in front of other students – respect confidentiality at all times.
- Be discreet, don’t make an issue about students who may need to leave the room, need to eat during lectures or who need to make frequent trips to take care of personal needs.
- Some students may need a place of privacy for taking medication including injections, others may need a place of rest during the day.
- Stress from new situations (especially for those who are away from home for the first time) may adversely affect some students. Try to make students feel at ease and confident in their surroundings.
- The physical environment can affects some conditions, for example dust, smoke, or dampness. Students are likely to have any medication they need with them but tutors should be aware of where to seek help if necessary.
- Students may be forced to miss lectures or tutorials as a result of health difficulties. Tutors can help by assisting students to keep up with course materials, ensuring that they receive back copies of handouts / lecture notes, etc.
- If students are able to only work for limited amounts of time, allow extensions for submission of assignments – but take care not to let students build up a large backlog of due work.
- Help students to manage their time and organise their work by breaking tasks down into manageable chunks.
- It may be helpful to identify a buddy in a group who will supply notes and generally support any students who have been absent due to illness or stamina difficulties.
Case study about a student with severe asthma on a Drama course