Professional Goal Beyond Induction
A Professional Goal I have for myself beyond induction is to continue to always develop new curriculum for my students to engage them academically, culturally, and professionally.
Why I have identified this as a need/interest:
I am interested in always making my courses as relevant as possible to the students. Theater has a storied history going back to the Greeks (in Western tradition), but influences from the East (Bunraku, Xiqu, Lakhon Chatri) are generally ignored. I want my students to understand that all traditions are of value and should be shared. I've brought this into my classroom by
During our Commedia Dell'Arte unit we discussed the use of stock characters in other traditions such as Kabuki
While engaging the students in distance learning I opened up our Paper Theater unit to be both western style as well as eastern style (Kamishibai) I immediately saw some of the students engage more with the Eastern style including a special ed student who had previously been struggling.
What actions will I take?
1) Research & learn more about different styles of theater including modern styles that combine multiple older styles.
2) Leave projects more open ended for the students to be able to provide more individuality with their performance.
3) Build more open ended rubrics so that students can fulfill the learning objectives and demonstrate their understanding in varying ways
How will I assess goal attainment?
1) When I can just as easily teach Eastern theater traditions as I can teach Western theater traditions.
2) When students are able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in ways not conceived at the onset of an unit.
Staying Connected As An Educator
Being the sole teacher of a subject on a campus can be very isolating. We focus on what our students in our classroom need and don't reach to far out beyond our departments. To stay connected as a teacher I can:
Attend faculty events: holiday parties, staff mixers, end-of-the-year celebrations, eat lunch with my peers.
Seek out Professional Development sessions that I am passionate about
Join professional organizations that support my subject matter (EDTA, CTE)
Seek outside opportunities to learn new forms of my craft (college courses, conservatory, internship)
Following blogs and other social media pages to see what other educators are doing in their classrooms (Facebook - Bay Area Theater Folks, Bay Area Drama Teachers)
Post about my students' successes (Department Website: Leightheaterarts.com)
Ask educators who inspire me questions about their teaching philosophy
Maintaining The Passion
I consider myself lucky every day to be teaching a course that I'm truly passionate about and that my students are truly passionate about it as well. We feed off of each others unbridled energy to always push the performance to the next level.
With that said there are only so many hours in a day, and so much attention that can be given to any one thing. To help drive myself and my students I can:
Separate work life & home life
Try to limit the amount of work I bring home
Let work issues stay at work, and home issues stay at home. This way both places get the best of me.
Take time for self care
In theater it is extremely easy to get wrapped up in a production. It's important to set a schedule even a schedule of self care to make certain needs are met.
Not feel guilty when working on a project for myself that has no impact on my school or teaching.
Get away from all distractions and enjoy peace and quiet and don't let the world drag me back till I'm ready
Eat healthy. With the long hours it's easy to eat garbage. Make certain that proper food choices are ready and available.
Set realistic goals
If goals are unachievable there is nothing more disheartening. It's important to make goals that are both actionable and spaced with adequate time.
We learn more from our failures than we do from our triumphs. There's nothing better than realizing that a failure now can be turned into a victory later.
Advice For New Teachers
Teaching is one of the toughest careers anyone could ever choose to join. You must balance between parents, students, administration, and community needs. Try not to take anything personally while acting personally towards all. Students will engage when you are genuine, but sometimes have a lot more on their plate that you don't know about. Cater to their needs first and foremost, and give everyone a fresh start every day.