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A Look Into 2011′s BTiC

July 21st, 2011 by acoates

Happy Summer! (just don’t look outside when you read that…)

Our wonderful Education Department hosted another year of their “Bringing Theatre Into the Classroom” program a couple of weeks ago. Dano Beal, a 2nd grade teacher and one of the participants, shares her thoughts on attending BTiC:

The second week of July has found me nursing the beginnings of a summer sunburn, slurping Popsicles with the kids, and basking in those famous Seattle sunsets…. Happily, summer has also brought some of the most valuable professional development I’ve ever experienced… “Bringing Theater Into The Classroom” presents an amazing opportunity for educators to develop a potent arsenal of strategies aimed toward expanding the achievement of ALL kids.

The program brings together three local theatre companies and theatre artists dedicated to sharing the power of theatre strategies as an educational tool… And a powerful tool it is! The week is comprised of a series of workshops designed to teach educators how to enhance current curriculum by infusing theatre games, research techniques, playwriting and performance standards. Specific content areas are targeted with more than just one or two lesson plans. The workshops are well paced, provide tremendous feedback, and are very appropriate for any teacher in any educational setting. Great care and respect is evident in every aspect of the workshops. Dialogue around social issues, state standards, and the inclusion of special needs students is ever present… And this dialogue is genuine. Each participant comes away with lessons, activities and resources compiled in an impressive manual. Most importantly, participants attain a level of confidence that enables them to implement what they have learned right away. The effects on student learning are noticeable and identifiable.

“Bringing Theatre Into The Classroom” is NOT about being an actor, or being a performer…it IS about using engaging strategies that are natural, wonderful ways to reach all learners. The program acknowledges the power of an enthusiastic, well prepared teacher being available to EVERY student. The experience is something every teacher can learn from, and be energized by. In 22 years of teaching, it is easily the finest professional development I have experienced!

So… I encourage all educators to enjoy the Popsicles and sunsets…. But I’m also hopeful that they will plan on including “Bringing Theatre Into The Classroom” in their Summer adventures!

Dano Beal

2nd grade teacher
Lafayette Elementary School
Seattle, Washington



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