My Home Town: Week 2 of Teaching

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Everyone in motion, creating our final scenes in Roseau.

For my week in Roseau, I really felt that I got the hang of the material. I was able to structure the workshop in a way that eased everyone into it. I still had a range of experience levels, but I didn’t feel like I lost anyone. My group was smaller in Roseau than it had been in Plainview, but I was able to really get to know everyone better and talk to them more individually.

I took much of the material that I had worked with in Plainview, but adapted it further. I created several games out of the more “serious” ideas that I was sharing. For example, we worked on making characters out of animal movement, and I added a game that I called “Noah’s Ark.” Each student drew a random animal (for which there was a pair in each set). They had to find their partner, communicating through movement and action. It was great to see how much the students found more playfulness in these games than they would have had otherwise.

At Roseau, as well as at Plainview, it made the students a bit uncomfortable when I suggested that we make small pieces to share with their families (a part of my proposal). With only fifteen hours in total, it placed a sudden pressure on them that I wasn’t interested in. When we decided to just explore together, the students were able to relax and thereby get more out of the material.

In Plainview, I had started making a habit of checking in frequently with the students about what we had just done. In Belgrade in a professional setting, this was never a part of our routine. But it became apparent to me that the students needed that space to put together the things that we had done (and I needed that space to hear what they had learned from it). I continued this in Roseau, and though it wasn’t always earth-shattering for them to talk through what we had learned, I could see them learning from themselves and each other in those moments.

And I had my share of happy teacher moments. The students really had a lot of fun, and I could tell. They created several scenes that I was very proud of. This made always want to have more time. Whereas three hours felt like a lot of time to fill on my first day, I found myself always wanting more time with the students. Three hours was suddenly never enough.

Always more to say, but next comes my final group in Farmington, MN!

-Jon

P.S. More pictures!Image

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Rehearsing short group scenes.

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Group photo on our last day.

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