TAT LAB: Wonderwalls and Sharing Circles
“If there’s something you’re still wondering about, write it on this post it note and stick it to the wonder-wall and then come join me in a circle!” With over twenty hands in the air, the energy in the room at the Teaching Artist Training Lab, hosted by Seattle Children’s Theater, is palpable. The teachers just want to keep the discussion going and would do so well into the night. The wonder-wall serves as a great way to table topics for later discussion during lunch breaks, walks, and even drives home.
Teaching artists from all over the Pacific Northwest, including our own Chelsea LeValley, come together every year to further their teaching tools and collaborate with other educators. Three weekend-long conferences, quarterly teleconferences, and a practicum make up the components of this certificate. A major focus of the program is learning to write curriculum that complies with C.O.R.E. and state standards so that teaching artists can communicate their work in a language that is familiar for teachers and education administrators. Chelsea, who develops our dramatic arts program, reflected, “TAT Lab provided opportunities for discussion that left me inspired and challenged. For example, we discussed how to address racism and biases as they arise in the classroom. We also learned how to create a student-centered classroom where the students’ voices are heard as much as, if not more than, the teacher’s. We also built relationships with other educators and artists. A teacher I met through the program ended up doing a collaborative project with me on social justice theater in her classroom. I learned new activities and styles of debriefing that I continue to use in my classes. I now feel confident that I can train our teaching artists in how to write curriculum that complies with state standards and how to do so myself when offering programs to schools.”
Teachers and teaching artists are accepted each year to the TAT Lab program based on their application. The notice for their applications can be found here: TAT Lab Info (Application Deadline: July 12, 2017).
Below you’ll find an example of the curriculum that Chelsea wrote and implemented as her practicum. If you’re interested in having shared access to more curriculum written in this format or have some “wonders for a wonderwall” that arose from checking this out, please feel free to reach out to Cheslea@foundry10.org. We’re always looking for opportunities to connect.