US HOW IT'S DONE
Methods class takes Seattle by storm
by assistant professor Jennifer Salk
There are people who are natural teachers and there are people who become
master teachers by studying methodology. For most people, there is a balance.
There is innate talent for teaching in everyone but it is crucial that students
learn methodologies. It is essential that these students then get to apply
the theories and methods they are learning, not just on their peers, but on
strangers in unfamiliar situations.
The undergraduate Teaching Methods students did just that in Winter Quarter.
With the help of four schools, Washington Academy of Performing Arts (WAPA),
Dance Fremont, All That Dance, and Ewajo Dance Center, thirty students were
able to observe classes, and then teach.
Each student was required to observe two classes, and then spent two weeks
planning their classes. Due to the unusually large class size, many students
team -taught in pairs. They chose what genre of dance they wanted to teach:
jazz, modern, ballet, hip-hop, tap. One student chose to teach in the Into
the Arts program at WAPA which consists of students with learning disabilities.
A few others taught the tiny three and four year olds. The students were required
to videotape their class and were accompanied by a few of their peers who
would also observe them.
The feedback from the studios was tremendous. Some students were asked to
teach again in the future. One e-mail I received from WAPA said that the students
were still talking about the modern class they had with our students. They
loved it. The participating schools have all indicated that they appreciate
the partnership and look forward to doing it in the future.
The students in the class indicated in their self evaluations that they were
grateful for having the experience, that they had no idea how much planning
goes into a class, and that they were proud of themselves for their accomplishment.
For some the experience was profound. They discovered the teacher within.
They have fallen in love with teaching and know that it is in their future.
We will continue the program next year and hope that each student will get
to teach twice.