From Participant to Teaching Artist Assistant: Reflections

Posted 25 October 2012 12:00 AM by Jeremy Gooden: City Spotlights, Target Arts & Citizen Schools Teaching Artist Assistant

I have been participating in the Citi Performing Arts Center’s education programs for about 8 years now and have held various positions, including high school intern, college intern, and most recently, teaching assistant. This opportunity has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my artistic career. As a teaching assistant I get to work closely with extremely talented teaching artists; apply my music and theatre training on a daily basis; and create artistic pieces with my students. And like my students, I am learning at a very fast pace. When I accepted this position, I had worked with young people before, but had never taught elementary school kids. In all honesty, I was terrified during the first session, but with the help of some seasoned teaching artists, I was able to push through the first day, and the next, and the next. Today, I am very comfortable with my students and have the utmost faith in their ability to create powerful artistic pieces.

Those final performance pieces are what I’m really looking forward to. Currently, our kids are developing some very interesting characters. They are naturals. I am constantly amazed by their wild imaginations, strong acting choices, and ability to add depth to their characters. And I cannot wait for them to share those characters with their families and friends. I want our kids to impress their peers and loved ones, but more importantly, I want them to surprise themselves. I want them to exceed the standards that have been set for them, but I also want them to surpass limitations they have set for themselves. I have no doubt that they are capable of doing that.

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