Getting Schooled in Cosplay
Keeping students engaged in the classroom presents challenges educators could not have imagined when they signed up to teach years ago. Competition for their attention, engagement and proficiency from challenges like social media and online distractions as well as family dynamics and their personal wellbeing must be traversed nimbly. Teachers know that building skills in music helps students develop better math skills, but at a time when many music programs have faced severe cut backs or have been scrapped all together, teachers find themselves thinking outside the box, or the class room, to find ways to stimulate the minds of their students. One history teacher had an idea that using cosplay might work. He noticed that each year, more students came to class eager to talk about their ideas for their costumes, but had no idea what they were talking about. He researched the subject and decided to have some fun, but first he had to find a way to put together his costume without tipping off the students to what he was doing.
In the lounge, he mentioned his idea to another teacher who said her daughter had just ordered some gear from a store called Hot Topics and suggested he search the site. Once online, he went first to Groupon, as he usually does to find great deals on items he uses every day. Sure enough when he searched the site for Hot Topics, lots of coupons popped up. He had never heard of the store, and didn’t know what to make of it at first. He soon discovered that Hot Topics is a leading retailer of music and pop-culture clothing and accessories and had been around for 25 years.
Putting his plan into action, he ordered the gear he needed and had it all delivered to his home. Once he graced the classroom decked out in his Super Saiyan Future Trunks gear, a couple of his fellow teachers got in on the fun and for three days, they held a mock convention, using anime, and band gear as prizes for crazy competitions between the left side of the room and the right side of the room, which of course were renamed to reflect the far away galaxies they had to conquer. Using Groupons, he purchased Funko figures, tee shirts, cosplay accessories and made a treasure map to find them. At the end of the convention, he offered a repeat if there were enough interested parties, and he got flooded with requests. At the semesters end, attendance was better, students were eager to get to class, many saw their grades improve by several points. Some and said it was the most fun they’d had all year.