Teacher See, Teacher Do what observation has taught me about education

How to have energy...

  • Teach what you're passionate about
  • Teach what your STUDENTS are passionate about
  • Get enough sleep (or...)
  • Drink coffee
  • Laugh

How to be concise (economy of language)

  • Script out your lesson plan ahead of time
  • Start instructions with verbs: instead of, "I'd like you to make a circle," just say, "make a circle toe to toe"
  • Practice and reflect: ironically, it takes time to learn how to be concise - Be patient and kind to yourself
  • Create a schedule

How to give your students a voice...

  • Put them in charge - start small, have them lead the warmup!
  • Allow for improvisation time - whether it's a dance, scene, or piece of music
  • Build in creation time
  • Alphabet game - Have your students design one letter of the alphabet with their bodies, giving each student a different role such as: director, choreographer, set designer, costume designer, sound designer, etc.
  • Build relationships: listen to them outside of class, whether in a lunch bunch, in the hall, or greeting them at the door
  • Allow them to make suggestions about curation of performance pieces

How to encourage creativity

  • Adopt a mantra such as, "there are no wrong answers," "everyone's creativity looks different," "don't yuck someone's yum," "let's explore first, then decide," or come up with one of your own!
  • Even if YOU the teacher don't like a suggestion, try it first. Chances are either the student will see the idea doesn't work, or you will find out it does! If they are still gung-ho about something completely off topic, then ask them to hold onto that idea and bring it back for a different activity, play, improv, etc.
  • Simple activities like freeze dance or museum allow time for students to make choices: they can move (or not move), socialize, and pretend how they want to

How to Build Community

  • Always REFLECT: whether a lesson goes right or wrong, talk about glows and grows - students will learn from successes and failures
  • Address issues early and often
  • Don't be afraid for students to fail - more neurons are fired in the brain when you make a mistake than when you get a correct answer
  • Model respect - if you respect your students, they will learn from your example
  • Collaborate collaborate collaborate: both teacher with students, and students with each other, start with partners and then build your way up

How to Foster Change (in students and in audiences)

  • Model the behavior you wish to see, SHOW don't TELL (both in teaching and performance)
  • Don't preach
  • Let students perform subject matter that relates to their lives


Created with images by Ravi Jandhyala - "Monkey" • tsuacctnt - "Fireworks" • Counselling - "read learn letters" • NikolayFrolochkin - "microphone sound music" • stokpic - "hands world map" • maxlkt - "hand united hands united" • xegxef - "light lamp electricity"

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