A copy of this blog appears on Oshi the clown's blog, too. I met a girl who was a ball of energy.
She was electric. Bounced off walls. Constantly fidgeted. I met a boy who was gifted.
He was jaded. Maddening. Desperate to learn. I met a girl who was narcissistic.
She was a bully. She was insecure. She terrorized her classmates. To all of them, I offered joy. But I did not – and could not – offer therapy. I believe there is a difference between therapeutic clowning and
In 2018-2019, my alter ego, Oshi, worked in schools as an educational clown. I blog about my experiences in the different schools from Oshi's perspective. Silvie, a sixth grader, loved greeting me in the hallway. She knew I came every Wednesday to clown at her school, and she would always come over to say, Hi. Always a smile on her face. Always bubbly. Always playing with her blond hair while telling me a funny story (always a funny story) that happened to her or someone in h
When I was interviewed for the Childhood Elsewhere documentary by journalist Zhou Yijun about education in Israel, I was filmed as my alter ego, Oshi the clown. My message, however, was one I regularly speak about in the innovation talks I give: the culture of failure. Failure is a buzzword in entrepreneurship and education today. Zhou Yijun dedicated a whole series to Israeli education and looked at how different educational methods – from elementary school to university and
Killer clowns are way more popular than their therapeutic counterparts. Although that shouldn’t be surprising. It’s been shown that people respond better to negative stimuli. I typed the words, Killer Clown, into Google search. The result: About 53,600,000 results (0.76 seconds). I then typed the words, Therapeutic Clown, into Google search. The result: About 1,580,000 results (0.46 seconds) In Yahoo search, Killer Clowns offered 15,100,000 results while Therapeutic Clowns li
Two years ago, I crossed the lines of writing about the arts -- which I’ve done for over 20 years as a journalist -- to being in the world of the arts. At first, it was a very strange, curious and out-of-my-box experience to be on the other side.
It was Oshi, my clown alter ego, who took me to the other side. Of course, that’s one of the key things an alter ego is good for: to do something completely out of your box. And clowning – medical, educational, social – was definit
Sometimes you need an outsider to show you what's happening in your neighborhood. Journalist and filmmaker Zhou Yijun dedicates an episode of her education series, Childhood Elsewhere, to what's happening in Israel. The documentary series, now showing on Youku, offers a fascinating look at the culture of education in Japan, Finland, India, the UK and Israel as compared to China. The Israel episode looks at this country’s views on education styles, innovation from a young age,
Twice a week, I work as an educational clown. The rest of the week, I work as an innovation journalist and give talks on the culture of innovation. So, this morning, when I went to the TV studio for an interview it could have been a typical outing. But today, I was being interviewed – and not the other way around. Moreover, I was dressed as Oshi, my educational clown alter ego. Upon walking into the waiting area of the studio, however, my eyes nearly popped out from excitemen
For the past five years, I’ve focused my public speaking on the innovation stories I’ve covered as a journalist. I love speaking to groups about the Israel of today: a tiny country out in the Middle East and yet one of the most important sources of pioneering ideas for the world. As a journalist and speaker, I take the role of storyteller seriously. That’s not to say my talks are solely serious-minded. I’ve always included humor in what I do. I inherited a healthy dose of sar
As an educational clown, adding humor to the school day impacts the openness to learning. Sometimes, being silly and offering another perspective is just that: fun. At a primary school recently, my clown alter-ego, Oshi, was asked to help find a broom. Oshi found a chair. The two first-graders looked at Oshi like she didn’t understand. In Hebrew, chair and broom almost rhyme. So, she explained that if they took her to their classroom, she’d explain to the teacher that althoug
Back-to-school season is underway. For teachers that means lesson plans, learning students’ names, teaching strategies, classroom guidance. For school counselors that means alternate frames of reference, classroom guidance, defiant kids, building self-esteem. For parents that means navigating jitters, providing emotional support, easing anxieties, setting a homework tempo. For Oshi, my alter-ego educational clown, back-to-school means adding humor to the school day. It means
Niv Morgenstern, an educational entrepreneur who is on a mission to creating a relevant learning experience in the 21st century, runs a podcast on education. He invited me -- and my alter ego, Oshi -- to come and talk about my forays in education innovation. Usually, I speak and write about the innovation and creativity taking place in Israel and where it can be seen in the global community. Today's podcast focused on my role as an educational clown in the Israeli educational
Inevitably, at least once a day at school, Oshi is called a killer clown. Of course, take one look at Oshi – an educational therapeutic clown – and it is obvious that her fashion sense of dots, stripes, bright colors, flowers, no face makeup or wig and goofy facial expressions aren’t exactly killer clown material. Yet, the students at the schools at which Oshi works use the name-calling to strike up conversation. And Oshi is only too happy to play along. The “game” begins wit
1. Therapeutic clowns work in schools at all levels – high school, middle school, elementary school. 2. Therapeutic clowns work with students in mainstream education. They can also work with special needs pupils but for the most part you can find them in mainstream schooling systems. 3. Clowns are not students or teachers; they are friends and confidants to the former and helpers, an extra eye and ear to the latter. 4. Clowns thrive on bridging the student-teacher and student
Educational clowning is still making its mark in Israel. Of the thousands of schools in the country today, 11 have taken part in piloting educational clowns in schools. So, how did a Chinese documentary film crew even know the initiative to create a more joyful, colorful and happier school setting is underway? Backtrack to May 15. An email arrived in my inbox from Ryanne Hsu, a Hong Kong-based content coordinator for Childhood Elsewhere, a six-part documentary series on educa
There are over 1.6 billion websites in the world. Over 500 million of them are considered to be blogs. There are over 2 million blog posts uploaded daily. As such, I’m flattered every time someone chooses to use their time to read something I’ve written. I blog because I want to share stories with other people. I never know who is going to read my stories about innovation or about educational clowning. But I do know you are reading. Thanks to analytics apps I know you are in
Learning from failures is important. Being able to fail, to really embrace a failure, is even more significant if the experience is to be learned. I preach it to my kids. I tell it to myself. Oshi, my alter ego, breathes this motto every moment. I envy her joy of failing; her ability to be so unsuccessful at so many different undertakings. Oshi, an educational clown, is all about bringing pleasure to people she meets. But in order to create this joy she usually needs to fail.
The Passover holiday break ended... so, Oshi, went back to school for educational clowning. First day back after so much family time also meant the pupils felt somewhat homesick. At the elementary school where Oshi works, children from grades one through six used the day to create dozens of imaginary pains and aches. They congregated in the secretary’s office every recess break. Oshi came to hear about the amazing, creative and fantastic ailments. She wanted to help make the
“I don’t want to talk to you,” a sixth grader recently told me.
“Good. Cuz I don’t want to talk to you either,” I replied. “I only want to talk to the girl sitting beside you.” He loved my response. He knew we had just begun the “Yes, And!” game. And he couldn’t wait for my next move. My sparring partner for this match of “Yes, And!” was a kid with a lot of drama in his life. He is a kid who needs boundaries to function but hates limits set upon him. We meet once a week. He
As soon as the kids saw me walking towards the school gate, they screamed my clown name: “Oshi! Oshi!” They had big news to share with me: I was in their school newspaper. It was great excitement for them that Leepa and I (we split days as educational clowns at this school) made it into the school magazine. Before I had time to even walk up the steps to enter the front door of the school, a girl was already pulling my hand to come meet the writer of the few sentences that had
For over 20 years, I’ve been penning articles, blogs and scripts for an array of media. When I launched my new website, I debated whether to include a personal blog. On the one hand, as a freelancer, I need to constantly promote myself.
On the other hand, I wondered whether anyone would actually read my posts. My personal blog has now been live for 10 months. I’m flattered that people from 30+ countries have read my thoughts and writings. Of course, this blog has become muc