Thursday, July 31, 2008

Summer Teacher's Workshop

Yesterday I took part in the first of the Lied Center's Summer Teacher's Workshops. Over 60 teachers gave up one of their few remaining vacation days to take workshops on integrating the arts into their classrooms. It was a great group to work with! I gave two half-hour sessions for small groups on using puppets in the classroom. It was tricky to compress my two-hour workshop--all we could really do was go over basic puppet technique, with some reflections by the participants.

In the afternoon, I attended a workshop given by Kimberli Boyd, whom I first met in the spring when she came out to train artists to teach. She's a Kennedy Center Master Teaching Artist, and it shows. Her workshop on using movement and dance to teach about the rainforest was a great example of how to introduce topics succinctly and build knowledge incrementally. Even though I've been giving workshops for almost 20 years, since taking the Kennedy Center training in the spring, I've been rethinking the structure, content and pacing of my workshops.

It was an excellent day, though exhausting. After the wine and cheese reception, I came home and lay on the sofa for a while. Good thing I don't have any performances today. It's nice to spend the day working slowly and steadily in the office.

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