I Notice, I Like, I Wonder…..by Jennifer Katona
Ah reflection the cornerstone practice of any great educator - as I sit down to reflect on the year it occurs to me how quickly it all went by. I know for many of you who spent the year transcribing interviews, rehearsing musical numbers from Jungle Book, reading Dewey and re-writing papers you may have felt like the semester would never end but as quickly as it began in August here we are preparing for graduation.
In spirit of tradition I would like to frame my remarks in what has come to be known as my “LikeWonders” J
I Notice – how much everyone has grown over the semester both in practice and skill as theatre educators but also in dimension and character. I have found myself often this year standing in awe of the talent and integrity of the gradate candidates and alumni and wondering how I became so fortunate to be able to call you all colleagues.
I Like/Love – how the ensemble continues to grow! This year I was able to place 75% of student teachers in the classroom of alumni from the program. That continuation of learning is what makes CCNY unique and strengthens the learning and growth of our theatre teachers. I have loved all the visitors to CCNY this year –Jeremiah Drake, Jonothan Neelands, Cecily O’Neil, Stephen Belber, Nilaja Sun and Karel Zdarek –each brought a new lens by which to look at the work we do and added new perspectives to our ongoing dialogues.
I Wonder what the coming year will bring –which master Teaching Artists will we welcome –how will CCNY candidates continue to demonstrate themselves as artists, educators and advocates? In what ways will our program adapt to new innovations and mandates and how will those changes impact our learning?
The joy and dread of working in education is that you get to say hello to new faces each school year and this Fall we welcome 30 new candidates however with that welcome comes a good by e and we must say farewell to 25 graduates –however as history has proved I know those graduates will not be far from the heart or minds of the program. I know our relationships and conversations will change but our connections will remain steadfast.
As always it has been an honor to serve as your leader and in the words of Jonothan Neelands spoken to us in January –let the ensemble we’ve developed be a model of how we should interact with each other as human beings in this world….have a great summer!!!