My career has been exclusively with elementary and middle school students.... Here are my thoughts:1) Have fun. Laugh loudly and often. Make sure your kiddos do the same.
2) Make lots of mistakes and allow your kiddos to make lots of mistakes. Laugh at those mistakes and use them to teach and create.3) The kids want to do well. Even if they seem lethargic, or were yelled at earlier for forgetting their math homework, or someone looked at them wrong, or Mom forgot to put Oreos in their lunch... they want to do well. Always approach any trying situation from this perspective. Teach your kiddos how to leave things outside of the theatre. They will not yet know how to do this on their own.4) You know how to direct and organize a show. Nothing has changed from that perspective. What will change is the language you use to coach your kiddos. Before rehearsals, instead of stressing over blocking or choreography, think about the vocabulary you will use to explain what you need. Yes, yes, yes, teach theatre terminology as part of your work with the kids.... but give them the scaffolding they need to make that language their own. Never assume the kiddos know what you are talking about.... even if you have taught it a few times already.5) Remember that kids don't yet understand that they have an emotional or experiential catalogue to pull from. Help them realize that they can use their own experiences to frame what they are talking about onstage. This, again, is new for them.
6) When in doubt.... go back to #1.