Teachers, as well as students, are always learning. We learn from our students, our peers, and from our own life experiences. This is a profession in which you never stop growing, and in order to develop my skills I made it a point to attended professional development seminars whenever possible. I also took part in regular weekly meetings with the English Department staff at Cobble Hill. Furthermore, I attended faculty meetings as a way to collaborate with my peers on issues that all schools must deal with on a daily basis. Overall, these experiences aided my professional development tremendously, and I will continue to seek out collaborative ways to develop my skills as an English teacher.
This professional development oppportunity involved two full days of interactive workshops with teachers from all over New York City. It culminated with the NYC Student Shakespeare Festival, where classes share original stagings of Shakespeare's work.
Started in 1994, CAT's Shakespeare program is a unique opportunity for educators and students to celebrate the raw power and dazzling beauty of Shakespeare's work. The program is built on the belief that Shakespeare is best learned in the act of performing his words.
Goals for the workshop include:
- Providing an original and compelling way for educators to strengthen their ability to address English Language Arts Common Core Standards and NYC Arts Education Blueprint standards.
- Providing ELL and special-needs teachers with a means to offer high-expectation subject matter and strengthen students' abilities in literacy and theatre skills.
- Supporting the integration of student-centered learning strategies into the participating teachers' fundamental approach.
- Providing teachers of grades with the tools to overcome discomfort and develop strategies for integrating Shakespeare (and other "difficult" works) into the classroom.
- To compliment existing school drama programs and fill a need in schools that do not have them – by providing opportunities for students to play active roles onstage, in scene development, and in stagecraft.
- Bringing a worldly and high-caliber level of theatrical knowledge to participating schools.