TATIP Graduation


My heart led me here
to be inspired to inspire, to teach and to hear
the wisdom in your words.
My heart led me here to connect with other hearts. 

Flowing from a ridge of care
you give to others what you’d give your own selves,
creativity, teaching, community, as cloud, river, lake–
new water you add to the cycle of good exchange.

Team Magic: your bright spot is the light (in/sight/free/flight)/
when you measure each other’s energy/
with wit/curiosity/generosity/
it colors us in community/successful/opportunity.

“How can we change the world?” we asked.
“Bring your passionate selves into all you do,” you answered.
And then without effort or presumption,
you led by example.

On Friday May 15th, the 27 interns for this year’s Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program gathered together for the last time at CORO in the Financial District.

This group of visual and media artists, writers, musicians, dancers and theatre artists learned how to transform creative processes into teaching tools, experimented with how to create lesson plans and teaching paths that meet state and city standards, explored Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, investigated the Common Core State Standards, tried out a myriad of classroom management strategies, developed co-teaching and partnership skills, incorporated inquiry and reflection in their lessons, and helped students create work, remembering to remain relevant to students’ lives and to create community. 

With graceful listening and patience,
you humbly asked and commanded,
“Lean in.
Claim what is yours.”

Our minds collaged, became a mural of teachable moments.
Brushed strokes, composed
through the art of collaboration
and a community of creativity.

A poetic weapon.
Voices run- unchained, a world changed.
I now know what it means to grow,
live in every onomatopoeia.

You’ve given our voices the confidence to say
words that inspire and edify in every which way.
We know your wisdom and knowledge are contagious
and we’re so very thankful for all that you’ve gave us.

Over the year, TATIP trainees participated in a series of workshops, seminars and residencies to complete their internship. They devoted their time and efforts to expanding the Teaching Artist field and to bringing art to lives of their students. We played games together, discussed current events and how to teach them in the classroom, attended events, presented lesson plans, laughed together and sometimes teared up. Friday was the culmination of all our hard work and the graduation that was only supposed to last two hours, went long into the evening as we shared our creativity and basked in our mutual reverence for this community we’ve created.

Joining us that evening were Courtney Boddie of The New Victory Theatre and her co-facilitator, W.T. McRae. They presented the Teaching Artist Pathways (TAP) tool, which is an instrument that Courtney has been developing for Teaching Artists to calculate how they got into the field, where they are now and making projections for where they would like to go. It is a unique career planning tool and we were excited for the trainees to be a part of it. 

They gave the graduating class next steps to plan for their careers. 

Emotional taxi, sensory poetry, graffiti walls, and creative elements.
Pedagogy, experimentation,
and a community to reflect with and learn from.
Thank you, for the compass, the confidence, and the passion.

Networking with others outside,
providing food for thoughts.
Congratulations on a job well done in seven months–
We will come again.

Every year, an anthology is put together to showcase the hard work the trainees put into the year’s training program. However, this year’s TATIP anthology looked different than year’s past. Instead of making a printed book, this year’s anthology went green and can be found online on our website. After many reflection exercises – including a scene game in which the trainees and mentors were paired in groups and given a different style of television show (Reality, Investigative Reporting, Live on the Field Reporting, etc.) to act out their reflections in – we sat down to take a look at each trainee’s TATIP and Artistic work.

Marlie Decopain shared her painting “Naked Roots,” a beautiful self-portrait that highlights social justice in visual art and the often negative attention surrounding African-American women’s hair. Javan Howard read his poem “We Were Artists” that he wrote specifically for the anthology, and Shereen Macklin cut straight to our hearts with a soul-wrenching song she dedicated to her mother.   

Many trainees shared their artistry and you can see all of them in the 2014-15 TATIP Anthology.

Truth. Our work with today’s children shape tomorrow’s leaders.
To our teachers, teachers of teachers,
Thank you for highlighting keys to achieving new visions for a just world.
Through the arts, and our collective creativity, the world shines brighter.

Teaching learners learning to teach is not a small thing–
it is enormous.
Thank you for modeling this work that is magical
and can be difficult to describe.

There were many highlights from the evening, but one of the most poignant moments was when the trainees surprised TATIP facilitators Patti & Renee with the unbelievably touching community poem found in this blog. Patti read the work out loud and you can read the piece titled “Joyful Exchange” here. 

We at CWP want to thank all the trainees/Teaching Artists for their hard work this year and for being such invaluable members of our community. You touched our hearts and it meant the world to us. 

Teaching is an
Thank you for sharing us your

Glowing, endless gratitude for the fire of your hearts and your art,
and for the passing of the torch – the wisdom warmth, the spark
so that the city may see, casting your light into the dark.
Thank you so much for all that you do.

Love, intelligence, support, wisdom, strength and appreciation–
gratitude is my attitude.
For I see the world in a different way
thanks to Patti, Katie, and Renée.

“Joyful Exchange” by:

Leonie Bell
Marlie Décopain
Katrina De Wees
Laura Epperson
Kadeem Gayle
Javan Howard
Lawrence Malu
Paco Marquez
Carly McCollow
Frank Moran
Tiffany Nesbit
Cristal Rodriguez
Megan Skelly
Ally Tufenkjian
Elizabeth Delaune Warren

Featured painting was lovingly created by Dan Paul Roberts.

Interested in TATIP? Find out more about our 2015-16 Program!