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How a Teaching Artist Can Help Students During Emotional Times

As Teaching Artists, there may come a time in which we will have to provide emotional support to our students as a result of a tragedy. A tragedy can present itself in various forms: the loss of a member of their community, unexpected election results, violence, hate crimes, acts of prejudice, etc. Moments like these impact and change a community greatly. The community collectively experiences shock, sadness, devastation, and anger. Many may no longer feel safe and coping becomes very difficult to do. People deal with things and process them on a wide spectrum of difference. Through the Teaching Artist Project (TAP), I have learned how to safely navigated topics in an effective way through m

My Experience at the Roots, Routes, and Rhythms Elective Seminar

I’ve really enjoyed the elective seminars that are available to the trainees in Community-Word Project's Teaching Artist Project (TAP). I recently went to the Roots, Routes and Rhythms seminar, which was facilitated by City Lore, a nonprofit that fosters living cultural heritage through education and public programs. The seminar gave me new lesson ideas, reinforced a lot of the concepts I’ve learned during the TAP trainings, and showed me how using call-and-response can tap into students’ intuitive learning processes as well as engage them in the lesson. Roots, Routes and Rhythms is a program City Lore created to, “engage students in exploring the roots of contemporary music and dance cultur

Universal Design for Learning and the Role of the Educator

While in Community-Word Project's Teaching Artist Project (TAP), I have learned that the role of the educator is to have the ability to reach students of all learning abilities and backgrounds. There is a level of power and credibility for a Teaching Artist that can facilitate in all classrooms and allow their art form to resonate with their entire audience. I recently attended a seminar about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), hosted by Marquis Studios, a nonprofit organization that provides arts education services to New York City public schools. This seminar was centered around the philosophy that the role of the educator is to connect to a variety of students. UDL theories are very sim

Why working with young children is magical

Most of my Teaching Artist experience involves working with teens ages 11-17. I also have been working with children ages 6-12 at a homeschooling resource center, which has been equally interesting in terms of how children with 6-years between them relate to one other. Although there is a tendency for the older children to insult the younger children, it is refreshing to see how bullying has become an issue that all schools are now tackling. For instance, I worked with Mima Music to record and document an anti-bullying song and video that the entire Castlewood elementary school in Queens will learn together. During my internship with the Teaching Artist Project (TAP), I shadowed two co-teach

Cross-Country Collaboration

During this year’s Summer Institute, in addition to wonderful participants from all over the country, Community-Word Project (CWP) had the pleasure to host staff members from the Memphis Music Initiative (MMI). Five staff members traveled all the way from Tennessee to not only partake in the rich social justice training provided during Summer Institute, but to explore how that work could impact their organization directly with an additional customized training day. This collaboration has been months in the works, beginning in November, when MMI staff members Janet Thompson, Lecolion Washington, and Morgan Beckford traveled to New York to observe and participate in one of the Saturday trainin

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