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Reflection & Assessment: Building on Our Foundation

TATIP came together once again on November 19th for the fourth Saturday training day at The Drama League in lower Manhattan.

After a brief warm up led by facilitator T. Scott Lilly, the trainees settled in to watch two more lesson plan presentations that we weren't able to fit in the previous week's schedule.

We're lucky to see so many different presentations from these multiple perspectives. This way, we get to try new ideas and learn from one another's mistakes.

After that, we took time to reflect on the collaborative lesson plans through graffiti walls that prompted us to think about things we learned by observing our peers facilitate lessons, things we learned about co-facilitating, etc. Then, it was time to talk about our unique creative process. Facilitator Karla Robinson discussed what resources she brings into the classroom; ideas, habits, artists, etc. We took time to work in groups of our different artistic mediums, creating a lengthy resource list for everyone to use.

After spending the morning focused on pedagogy and curriculum, the facilitators wanted to spend more time reflecting on the election and discussing ways that the arts community can move forward together. They led the group through a series of activities, modeling how to provide safe space for varied beliefs, not shying away from tough topics, how to show opinions on a continuum, and productive ways to deal with what is upsetting our students.

It was a difficult conversation, but the facilitators provided ways to lessen the hardness that can come with these types of discussions, allowing us to see different ways to facilitate these talks with our students.

For the afternoon session, the Advanced Track students left with facilitators Karla Robinson and Patti Chilsen to go to the National Museum of the American Indian.

They explored the exhibits and discussed what it means to be "unbound." They did a series of guided "noticings" and discussed their personal teaching lives, pinpointing when they need to refuel and are feeling burnt out as facilitators.

Back at the Drama League, facilitators Heidi Miller and T. Scott Lilly led the New & Beginning and Student trainees in a continued conversation on lesson planning and assessment. The trainees got some lab time with their partners in order to revise the lesson plans they implemented and work on strengthening their collaborations.

Next week, the trainees are in for a big treat. We'll be taking a field trip up to East Harlem and we'll spend the day at the Langston Hughes House thanks to Renée Watson and the I, Too Arts Collective. Stay tuned for more updates!

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