The collaboration and cooperation amongst the various constituencies in the faculty and staff is one of my favorite things about teaching here. I see conflict between arts and athletics at other schools that we just don’t have here. We in the Arts respect the specific things that coaches need to accomplish with the students, and coaches have come to understand the needs of the Arts in general, and especially the theatre program. This extends to academics and spirituality as well. Our ability to set aside differences and work together for the good of the whole is what keeps me getting out of bed and coming to work every day.
My favorite class to teach is Theatre I. Watching students have “aha” moments throughout the duration of the class is truly rewarding. My favorite unit to teach is Shakespeare in Historical Context. It is a true joy to watch the students take what they learn in this particular unit and put it to use in other academic classes (English and History, in particular). That, to me, is what education is all about: students gathering information from many different sources and synthesizing it for their own particular purposes.
Having the fall production performed before the entire school as part of the regular class day is something for which I feel gratitude. I grew up going to theatrical performances as part of our regular curriculum in elementary and middle school, a tradition that has faded over the years all over the country. To be able to watch students perform a piece of thought-provoking theatre for their peers—say, Our Town or The Tempest or even Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead—as part of the education that students receive gives me satisfaction. Plus, it’s the right thing to do.