Learning to Teach

It has been four days since our last Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP) class, and I am still amazed by how much we have learned and how much I’ve been able to implement in my after school classes with Kindergarten - 2nd grade students. Last Saturday our six-week seminar came to a close, and it has been an experience I’ll never forget. Each seminar was extremely empowering, providing all of us with insight on how to work with children of various ages in a classroom setting. Learning such a variety of techniques, and skills through the seminars and field work has prepared me to become a more confident teaching artist.

Last month I started my internship with Community-Word Project’s 3rd grade poetry & visual arts class at PS 84 in Williamsburg. In the weeks to follow, I observed and grew to admire the hard work, creativity, and dedication of both Felipe Galindo and Phyllis Capello, the teaching artists I have been observing. Thus far the class has been learning about multiple different writing techniques for poems.

While learning about metaphors with the 3rd graders, I was intrigued by the creativity and imagination of the students. As I walked around observing the classroom, my attention was drawn to Phyllis as she was helping a student to pick a word or topic and a metaphor to go with it. She asked him if he had an idea. He replied “Aspen” but he couldn’t give an example of a metaphor to create about those mountains. Phyllis suggested an idea, painting the picture of a dangerous slope in the cold mountains. He responded right away with a “No! I got it actually” and continued to say his metaphor: “The Aspen slopes are milky rivers.”

The imagery the student created and his quick response has stuck with me the past few weeks, as it is a reminder of how creative the kids are if encouraged properly! I’ve been teaching classes for Kindergarten - 2nd grade while partaking in the TATIP seminars and internship and have been able to implement a lot of the teachings directly. All of these experiences combined have made me realize that children are much smarter than most people give them credit for, and I am truly excited to be continuing this journey with TATIP and as a teaching artist.  

-Tanya Gupta, Visual Artist, TATIP Trainee 



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