Once Upon a Time, in the early 2000’s, the magic of two teaching fairies collided in the universe of Hillsdale, an inner-city school of east Hamilton, Ontario. As a key part of successfully implementing a social skills program called “Second Step”, staff organized monthly assemblies to introduce the new social skill focus, originally featuring a pair of teachers on rollerblades called “Captain Second Step and Babalouie”. Later, Leslie and MC enhanced the Second Step materials by introducing various characters from literature in order that the training could dovetail nicely with language arts.
Initially, M.C. took on cross-dressing as ‘Captain Hook’, the obnoxious villain from “Peter Pan”, while Miss Bell hovered around as ‘Tinkerbell’. Captain Hook shocked the student population (and the teachers) with rude, uncooperative and impulsive behaviour. Tink’s job was to enlist the students in reforming Captain Hook by the end of the year, teaching him how to apply the social skills they were learning. Students and staff were delighted to see these two zany teachers take on characters and perform impromptu theater while engaging staff and students. (Once, Hook impulsively shimmied up the rungs of the gym climbing unit, slid his leg between the wall and the climber and got stuck, causing pandemonium!)
To keep things fresh, MC became Dazzle the following year. She was a very young, naive, enthusiastic, self-absorbed and impulsive fairy who needed corralling and training from Tink. Through a year’s coaching by Tink and the students, Dazzle matured into compassion, grace and decorum, just as Hook had. They began to include class dramatic demonstrations to teach the monthly target social skill … for instance, the BFG was used in a sketch highlighting the need for strong listening skills.