Day 1: In My Classroom I Am... 2016- April Blog A Day Challenge

Prompt: In my classroom I am...

I teach in New York City.  I have worked with hundreds of amazing kids over the last 10 years.  I have taught in 6 different physical spaces including two school auditoriums. 
Each physical space has provided a unique set of challenges and for that matter, inspiration.  Yesterday, I spent the first two periods with two of my 9th grade theatre classes and our amazing Teaching Artist, Albert from Theatre For A New Audience.  My kids have embarked on a semester long study of Pericles, a rarely read--let alone studied play by the notorious William Shakespeare.  In this classroom, I get to step back a bit and watch the kids grow and explore the Bard with a master teaching artist, actor and director.  I learn as much as teaching theater from these sessions as they are learning about performance and creation of theatre.  

When I go upstairs to the brightly lit rooms that I teach in through out the rest of the week, I slide back into the role of master teacher, but the learning I do continues there as well. Last week my 10th graders began student led lessons of the poetry of World War 1.  They are to prepare a 30 minute lesson that includes leveled discussion question and a check for understanding to assess the learning of their peers (and the effectiveness of their instruction). In my classroom I am a witness to their evolution as scholars. They are learning to learn independently from me, an essential step in the quest to prepare students for College and Careers.  

In my classroom I am a collaborator.  I work with teachers to day in and day out to support students and to support teacher growth.  The fresh eyes and insight new teachers bring to my experience push my thinking about HOW and WHY choices are made.  Not in the sense of defense of choice but for the purpose of modeling by doing.

In my classroom I am safe.  This is where I grow, where I thrive.  My classroom is where I have been able to heal after 5 surgeries in 3 years, always returning so soon because the energy in my teaching and learning community fuels my healing.  I know this about myself.  My colleagues, my mentors, my kids.

In my classroom, I am ALIVE.


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