“One of the greatest challenges I faced was becoming well-versed enough in technology to create positive, relevant and meaningful classes through distance learning. I clearly remember the first time I faced the camera, thinking how impossible, sad, weird, bizarre and wrong it felt to be staring at a screen of heads, in my living room and trying to create an experience for my students through movement and music. Aside from these emotions, I had NO IDEA how to share my screen, mute, unmute, get on and off Zoom and Google classroom correctly, and was constantly finding difficulty with some variation of technology. I remember clearly thinking to myself that this was the way it was going to be for a while so I had better try my best and slowly, and I do mean slowly, I rose to the challenge. I started to see the humor and humanity and the commonality we all had facing this pandemic together in the arts online, and I began to see how the arts could STILL fill the great voids felt all over the world on so many levels. I figured out my lighting, created cool Zoom tricks, fun phrases, crazy games, dance choreography and compositions, warm-ups, team-building, and finally started to get into the groove after the third or fourth month of the pandemic. I can’t believe, looking back now, how almost a year and a half ago I knew absolutely nothing about technology and tools for teaching online, and how now, I’m proud to say I mastered myself, the screen, and feel ready for almost any future technology challenge!
I want to just reiterate how the arts have been a gift for me and my students during the pandemic and how Covid highlighted, more than ever, that all art forms are relevant at all times, especially during crises. I observed so many students come out, some just slightly and others in huge ways, of their shells and open up to me, each other and the world of dance and music through this past year. I ran through the roller coaster of emotions, just the way my students did, concurrently feeling the angst, joy, pain, uplift, release and all the other host of emotions that came along with Covid. It felt like a true privilege to be a teaching artist during these times and I feel even more encouraged than ever to keep doing what I do.”
San Francisco elementary and pre-K public schools
Taught asynchronously, synchronously, hybrid, and in-person, outside, distanced & masked