Mining the Magical Mind

Posted 5 March 2013 12:00 AM by Toni Bee, City Spotlights Artist Fellow

As I jump into being a teaching artist, spring is showing her face in varied ways. The leap of heat in the weather is a signal for me that the ground has loosened from the freeze and NOW it is best time to start digging for precious stones.

In a way I see myself as a miner whose mission is to encourage the unearthing of art-stones within the beings of Gems; those Gems are a class full of second graders.

In February, “Team Theatre” - Teaching Artists Kelly P., Rachel R. and I - went over to the P.J. Kennedy School in East Boston to observe the second grade classroom of emerging artists. I was able to get a great overview of how the group reacts and interprets poetry and rhythm. Plus Citi Center staff being in the midst of the youth before ACTUALLY starting the teaching visits broke the ice and built a cool sense of familiarity between the young artists and us visitors. That was important - to loosen the terrain never visited and see the interest shine from the eyes of the colorful crystals.

The initial observation definitely made our First Day a comfortable delight! It started with Ms. Grant-Carter having the youth greet us – and they practically shouted the three members of Team Theatre’s names.

I could see in students’ eyes that their minds opened to the concept of alliteration. They were eager to run through the Tongue Twister (“Ok, now this time – say it Faster Kids”- they all said, “Yeahhhhh!”)

Mouths dropped open when I showed them the book Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan. It made me quite excited seeing the various ways in which they will interpret acting out the parts of the book. I shall read the book today and Kelly P. will urge them to act it out. All we ask those Gems to do is shine and use the Imaginations within their minds to be creative artists.

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