ALT/space 2012 Highlights: Part One

As 2012 comes to a close I want to express my gratitude and thanks to all the ALT/space contributors who have written about their work in the last year.  They have shared moments of celebration, art making and, sometimes, struggle and we have all benefited from their tales, both individually and as a profession. Although […]

Round Pegs & Square Holes | Meg Mahoney

Creating a permanent place for the arts in public education requires some adjustment between the two in order to create a fit — a whittling process that usually affects the art more than the public institution within which it’s finding a home. Given the current trends in educational reform, with emphasis on standardized testing, accountability, […]

Kindling the Spark | Meg Mahoney

I’ve been honored to be a contributor to the TAJ online exchange of ideas since last August, even as I’ve felt sort of odd-man-outish. Being a certified dance specialist, located in one school for the past fifteen years, my context is quite different from itinerant teaching artists, especially in the most recent (and most stultifying) […]

Too Much to Ask: Dance Without Music | Meg Mahoney

Alimah and Farihah are my students. They’re both cheerful, attentive, kind, lively, quick, and participatory. Alimah, a first grader, is shy, but she’s a great partner for anyone in the class. Any student, boy or girl, calm or wildly off-task, gets their work done when paired with her, because she can be on-task and have […]

The Power of a Hula Hoop | Meg Mahoney

Early in my first months of teaching my students with Autism, I discovered that hula hoops held a special power. One day at the end of class, we’d been working hard on structured activities with variable success: lots of cajoling of individual students, with them alternately joining and wandering away from our activities. Exhausted, I […]

A Backstage Story

So much effort goes into a performance, but the stories backstage – unseen – can be far more important. This one centers on two 5th grade boys… Adiel is a 5th grader in a regular classroom. I’ve been working with him since kindergarten, and he’s always been a bit of a challenge. He spends most […]