Coming in to this program I wasn’t sure of many things. Like how I would fit in to the program and what my role would be with the kids. After working with the program for the last month and a half it’s something I am glad to be a part of and enjoy going to every day.
How the program works is different than I had imagined it, but I like how we learn as a group as we debrief with each other, and talk about the things that are happening in the classrooms. It makes the approach of learning as we go enjoyable. Reading the books (Eric Booth’s “The Teaching Artists Bible”, and “Teaching Artist Handbook, Volume 1”) helped during the first weeks to get me into a sate of mind of what would be the best approach for working with the kids. However, in practice it isn’t always as easy and things can only be learned by trying them out.
Creating lesson plans was interesting. It showed me the importance of not having to be in control all the time and letting things take their own route. One of my most interesting reflections on this was that my lesson plans came easier to me for elementary school students than middle school students. With the middle school kids it took me longer to find an activity that I thought they would enjoy. One of the cool things that happened with the middle school kids was that they wanted to add their own twist to the activity I did with them. Upon reflection, I liked their idea and might put it into practice next time.
Having to teach a lesson to the kids was helpful in that it taught me the importance of having a partner teacher. I don’t think I would have been able to pull it off without their assistance. It showed me that this partnership isn’t something that just happens right off the bat, but is something that grows with time. In some cases, partner teachers just click and make magic together.
Working with the kids on their operas up to now has been very interesting. Seeing the enthusiasm these kids have for putting their operas together motivates me to give them my best abilities, so they can express themselves and keep their stories continuing to grow.
– By Felipe Hernandez
2014-2015 Teaching Artist Apprentice