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July 15, 2020

Teaching Artists Ready to Learn and Facilitate

When a cohort of area teaching artists and directors join together for Mind in the Making (MITM) workshops, amazing things happen! Sarasota is fortunate to be rich in the arts. Representation in the cohort included professionals from Van Wezel, Embracing Our Differences, Circus Arts Conservatory, Pine View, Origami Air Art Studio, Florida Alliance for Arts Education, MotionLab SRQ, Atomica Arts, and CreArte Latino Cultural Center.

The talent in the zoom room proved that there is always something to learn when you show up with an open mind and curiosity.

MITM is a series of facilitated workshops based on the 7 Essential Skills every child needs. Members of this cohort embraced the facilitated learning format, WOOP, and the skill of Perspective Taking.

Facilitated learning allows us to connect and build relationships. It offers participants space to practice and share what they learn. Breakout rooms were key to this! This cohort joined together modeled curiosity and the desire for continuous learning. Participant’s comments included that “Facilitated Learning eliminates ‘the hogs and the logs’ that you often encounter in a presented workshop.” Another participant said that she didn’t feel pushed out of her comfort zone, but this style let her step into her growth zone. I passed the facilitator torch to this group in module 8, and they facilitated the final module with courage, grace, and a bit of humor!

WOOP is a goal-setting tool that features mental contrasting and is unique in that it addresses the obstacle that gets in your way. As in every MITM cohort, there were success stories from participants who practiced WOOP through the eight modules. One teaching artist reported that she would change the way she does business and how she teaches because WOOP has allowed her to gain awareness and be more mindful of how she wants to interact with her students.

The group resonated with the Perspective Taking module. They agreed with the twist on the Golden Rule, which is to treat others how THEY want to be treated. One director summed up this module by stating, “It’s not how we’re teaching but how the student is learning.”

The final perspective was that these teaching artists were happy to collaborate, and this time together confirmed that their arts work is relevant, and MITM gave them the language!

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