My philosophy of teaching:
I am fortunate to wear many hats as a theatre person. I am an artist, administrator and an educator. The role of educator is the most rewarding role I have ever had the opportunity to play. Through the process of teaching my craft, I have grown a deeper appreciation for theatre and the power it has to create beauty and change in our world.
My vision of theatre and education are closely aligned. My strong beliefs about theatre are intimately aligned with with my beliefs about teaching theatre. Here are a number of my beliefs.
theatre should beCOLLABORATIVE.
One of the beauties of theatre is that it is inherently collaborative. Artists spanning all aspects of performance must learn to work together understanding that every individual’s contribution is essential. I believe that bringing people together to work on the same project is one of my talents. I also believe that it is our responsibility as theatre artists to constantly create new and occasionally unexpected collaborations. When students and faculty work together, it is an experiential process that will help everyone learn more together than they could have individually.
students should leave academiaPREPARED.
Our economy is changing and being a professional in the arts looks different today than it did even when I graduated from my undergraduate studies. I expect all of my students to achieve their highest level of success and then have the ability to apply these skills to a real-world environment. In our changing economy, marketing oneself is an essential skill that students need in order to be a professional artist. I am passionate about giving students the skills and educational opportunities to thrive after graduation.
the educational environment shouldACCESStheWHOLE STUDENT.
Students are whole people who exist not just in the classroom or in rehearsal. So are educators. As educators, it is our responsibility to know our students and not simply use them as “knowledge banks” for us to deposit our wisdom. It is essential to practice some humility in teaching. Our students are also our clients. Without them, we would not have the privilege to teach. We need to constantly challenge ourselves to understand our students’ perspectives as well as finding the best way to help them develop understanding. A focus in my teaching has been curriculum development and how to create a curriculum that engages different types of learners.
theatre is INTERACTIVE.
Students in my classes talk to each other. Weather it is through group work, student-lead classes or group discussion, my students communicate with each other. An essential function of theatre is bringing people together and my classroom is no different.
Telling stories is an innately human quality. All over the world, different cultures have created performance forms to express themselves and to share stories. My background in Global Studies has made me very passionate about this subject. Theatre is a beautiful lens through which to view culture. I have had the privileged opportunity to study global theatre in several different contexts. I conducted my undergraduate research in India and that experience has shaped my view of the world. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to study under some of the most renowned Asian theatre scholars at the University of Hawaii. It is essential for students to understand the global world in which we live, and theatre is a captivating way to share this knowledge. Inherent in my belief of global theatre is my desire for a multicultural and inclusive classroom.
In no way is this a comprehensive manifesto of my teaching philosophy. These words are a weak replacement for the energy created in an educational environment. My passion for teaching is intimately aligned with my passion for theatre. Just like live performance, good teaching has the compelling capability to exist in only the moment it happens.
Copyright © Jen Luke. All rights reserved.