Day 18: Teacher Traning #AprilBlogADay Challenge

-->Prompt: What was your favorite part of your teacher training?
Tes, Jill, Me and Toni: My 3 best friends from NYU.

Last week my friend Kathleen, an 8th grade teacher here in NYC, emailed me: 

 Hey Meredith,

I'm changing up my next unit, like, a lot. Normally I mirror it with what they are learning in history but the history units are different this I am spicing things up. 

I am starting a creative writing unit. We already did a few days of writing workshop and it's great! I am incorporating Postsecret as well. With all the tests done, they really need this. BUT... I want it to be differentiated  everywhere---especially with choosing what they actually create. Essentially, their final project can be any genre of writing BUT I wanted to give the option of a play. The problem, is I have little experience with theater. I was wondering if you have a relatively short play that follows a general story mountain to use as an example? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Miss you. 
Kathleen and I did our English student teaching together in the fall of 2007.  I relied heavily on her that fall as she had done ST in undergrad and was already far more seasoned than I was. Here we are, almost 10 years later still supporting one another.  I went into my materials and threw together a readers theatre version of Oedipus as well as a play writing template and rubric. 

Hi Kathleen: 
This is one of my favorites do read aloud- it is a really easy version of the play and follows the dramatic structure.

A play should have: 

inciting incident
rising action
falling action 
denouement (in theatre- this is the resolution- we don't use the R word though)

To which she replied: 

You're amazing! Thank you!

 This is what my teacher training gave me: COMMUNITY.

Meredith and Kathleen! Summer 2015

In undergrad, I briefly thought about teaching.  A family member advised me to study what made me happy because I could always go back to school to become a teacher.  To be honest, I never thought it would happen: becoming a teacher.  I was so done with school after 5 years of undergrad that I was ready to just have my career.  This is what I did for a spell. But teaching called me back and in the fall of 2006 I started my MA in Educational Theatre and English at New York University. My program trained me well.  I felt confident leaving theory and moving into practice.  I, as all teachers are, was in for a rude awakening.  

The first few years were challenging and amazing.  I knew I was where I was supposed to be.  I was extremely grateful for my network of teachers I had built while in grad school.  The community and friendship it offered served as the backbone of my teaching practice.  

With Erin and her daughter.
Some teacher-friends have gone on to create amazing humans and I feel fortunate for our history and know that no matter what I could reach out and support is there.  This is one of the best parts of my teacher training.  Longevity.   

My extended teacher family from NYU continues to challenge me and remind me #whyiteach.  The articles they post on social media or the sharing of the work they are doing in the cities they work in inspires my own work.  It is not simply about networking, it's about COMMUNITY. 

So when picking a teacher traning program, ask about the community of teachers.  Ask what life has been like for them after they leave.  Ask to talk to teachers about what the program offered them.  



Popular posts from this blog

Summer Reading: Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande

Day 10: Planning and Process

Defense of Learning: Portfolios- Day One