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The Effects of a Safe Space

During the course of Community-Word Project's Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP) Saturday training sessions, I learned the value of having a safe space. Our mentors were able to create an atmosphere where our voices were heard and validated, giving us confidence to speak our minds and present our ideas. However, this safe space didn’t happen immediately. In the beginning of the first day, we participated in a graffiti-wall activity, in which we anonymously answered questions about what we hoped to learn from the training and how we create as artists. The exercise’s anonymity enabled us to answer questions honestly; our voices were then heard when our mentors reflected on w

Using Graffiti Walls to Mine Students’ Minds

In my first seminar with Community-Word Project's Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP) back in October, our first task was to answer questions on chart paper, which was posted around the room. Afterwards, with anticipation, we navigated around our fellow new trainees, while musing at one anothers’ responses on the newly decorated "graffiti walls." This exercise gave us an opportunity to be honest about our greatest fears about teaching, what we need to be creative instructors, what we feel least prepared for in teaching, and more. I was struck by how heard I felt during this process. The act of writing out the bumbling questions, anxieties, and hopes for our TATIP training

The Wondrous Story of The Bookman (“El Sen~or de los libros”): The Andean Odysseus

“I always imagined Paradise would be some sort of a Library.” -Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator. It is rainy, cold, and windy in New York City. It seems the weather matches the unsettling - yet vigorous and resolute - spirit of these times. This January, all at once, everything has become bold and urgent. The present circumstances have forced us to rise from a comfortable slumber. The structure of this house, its general décor, and decorum, have been inevitably altered. Therefore, we who aspire to be effective co-participants in this country's development, we that communicate through the Arts, we that aspire to communicate with children, invite

Teaching 3rd Grade

Last Thursday, my partner Kate and I taught our first lesson at Community-Word Project’s 3rd Grade Poetry and Visual Arts class at PS 84 in Williamsburg. It was a very memorable experience. Kate and I had spent many days preparing the lesson plan and materials, and were excited to have the opportunity to implement them. We integrated all that we had learned throughout Community-Word Project's Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP) into the syllabus, and after feedback from our mentors, Felipe Galindo and Phyllis Capello, we further embellished the introduction of the lesson to the students. By Wednesday night, we were ready with all our visuals, examples, and materials. Our cl

Learning to Teach

It has been four days since our last Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP) class, and I am still amazed by how much we have learned and how much I’ve been able to implement in my after school classes with Kindergarten - 2nd grade students. Last Saturday, our six-week seminar came to a close, and it has been an experience I’ll never forget. Each seminar was extremely empowering, providing all of us with insight on how to work with children of various ages in a classroom setting. Learning such a variety of techniques, and skills through the seminars and field work has prepared me to become a more confident teaching artist. Last month, I started my internship with Community-Word

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