Post 4: Moments of Humanity #AprilBlogADay Challenge

April Blog A Day Challenge
Prompt 4: A Moment of Humanity in the Classroom - think about a moment in your teaching experience where there was a "connection" between you and a student or group of students that resonated beyond content.

There have been many moments of connection over the years: hard talks, personal challenges, pregnancy, death, successes, college acceptance, reconnection with students as adults years later.  "Ms. T you are the reason I decided to become a teacher."  Yep, being a teacher is an emotional roller coaster. I think for me though, the moments that have been the most powerful and cultivated the greatest connection have been when I have taken students to see performing arts events.

When I moved to NYC 10 years ago, I had hit the motherload of theatre joy.  I landed my dream job as a theatrical milliner, making hats for Broadway shows.  I also got to work at The Metropolitan Opera. When I changed careers, I was able to find a graduate program where I could be licensed in two subjects- English and Theatre Arts.  I was so excited to be able to take kids to see performing arts performances in New York City.  What better place to be a drama teacher, right?

My favorite connections have been at these performances.  Some favorites have included: RSC's Julius Caesar and Dance Works at BAM, The Giver at NYU, King Lear at The Park Ave. Armory and most recently new works at The Vineyard Theatre, Billy and Ray and Brooklyinte.  For many of my students it is the first time they are going to the theatre.  The experience of going into a theatre, getting a program, the buzz before the lights go down.  

Then there is the experience of watching teens watch theatre.  My kids don't sleep, they engage and are engrossed.  I know this happens because I have prepared them for this moment. They laugh, they are curious they watch intently.   

I took 60 9th graders to see Billy and Ray this fall, the story of Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler writing the film Double Indemnity.  They were captivated for 2 hours and then sat through a 30 minute talkback with the cast including  Vincent Kartheiser of Mad Men fame. They asked great questions and the natural curiosity was inspiring. 

One kid found me after the show, "I could hear you laughing Miss. You have a really distinct laugh you know."
In that moment I was reminded of how valuable sharing this experience with my students is.  Letting them see how much I love performing arts.  Being authentically me, even with my "distinct laugh".

With my cousin at An American In Paris on Broadway last night.


  1. Reading this gave me the love-chills. I'm a theater nut myself and I've let that side of me take the back-burner even though it saved my soul as a youngster. I grew up on Long Island so I only realized how much I took easy access to NY theater for granted after moving to the Southwest in my mid-20's. GREAT memories of field trips we took to the Met. One in particular I'll never forget: a matinee of Puccini's Il Trittico starring Renata Scotto. Later, I'd have a friend who interned at a ticket sales place and anytime he'd get comp tix, he'd invite me so I got to see all the big Broadway musicals of the mid-80s (La Cage, My One and Only, Zorba, Tap Dance Kid, Cats, etc.)

    I need to reignite that part of me and get that into my working day, somehow. Thanks for sparking these memories, Meredith. I enjoyed your post.

    1. Yes! Of course it's my pleasure. It is easy to let things we love get lost from time to time. I'm glad to light the fire. If you ever want to talk educational theatre, just let me know!


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