Read, Write, Respond

It’s been nine months since ALT/space moved online, way back in August 2011.  Since then we’ve been writing regularly, weaving together our stories with reflections, observations and questions about our individual Teaching Artist practices.  We’ve also been using photos and videos to illustrate and elucidate that which words cannot.

We have shared past and present successes and, recently, have started sharing our struggles as well.  Sometimes we attempt to understand those inevitable moments in the classroom that loom large for days or weeks afterwards.  Other times, we endeavor to address and untangle the outside pressures that surround our work.

As we continue forward we are expanding the boundaries of how we think and write about our practice.  Recently, a new trend has emerged; in just the last month or two our contributors have spontaneously started replying to one another in the form of what I am calling the response post  I am quite thrilled about this development, actually.

I’m thrilled that a theater TA’s dilemma (attempting to address and deal with the external pressures of potential funding sources) got a thoughtful post in reply from a community arts activist who shared his strategies for responding to similarly complex issues.

Then there’s a (different) theater TA’s story about learning to love collaborative teaching in the classroom.  This post inspired a dance TA to reflect on and respond to the inherent tensions between nurturing her own art form while, at the same time, needing to address the pressures placed on her by the current educational climate.

As you read the stories collected here I ask you to imagine what your response post might look like.  Think about it and, if you find that you have gained some new insight about your work or would like to provide an answer, feedback, or an alternate viewpoint on issues posed by our contributors, please consider submitting your own response post to me at malke (dot) rosenfeld at earthlink (dot) net.

Our field can only get stronger with your thoughts, observations and experiences in a place where we can use them to further our own practice.   I hope to hear from you!

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