This September, I had the good fortune to work with outstanding artists/humanitarians at Arts in Action (AIA) in North Carolina as well as Ballet X’s Dance Exchange in Philadelphia. I love bringing National Dance Institute’s (NDI’s) methodology to artist educators and teachers who share my commitment to creating artful positivity in our schools.
In both settings, I kept the ideas and words of our beloved star educator, Shelly Harwayne, close at hand. She beautifully articulates what every teacher can learn from NDI. I hope that you are one of them.
· Never ask students to do things that you are not willing to do yourself.
· Provide students with real-life reasons for working hard.
· Never underestimate the power of demonstration.
· Have high standards and expectations for all.
· Marvel at what students can do.
· Provide lots of ways for students to excel.
· Value second language learning as a strength, not a weakness.
· Teach with voice. (Value passion, humor, and metaphor).
· Offer assessment-driven instruction. (Always keep your eyes on the students).
· Provide supports for “extra-time” kids. (Empower children to take on the role of teacher).
· Create a caring social tone.
· Value the importance of making your teaching public.
· Give children a world-view.
· Trust that intellectual curiosity can be contagious.
· Enrich students’ lives with the visual arts.
· Be joyfully rigorous at all times
· Have zero tolerance for passivity.
· Help children imagine a life doing interesting things.
· Carve out ample time for celebration.
· Appreciate the power of rites of passage in a school.
· Value professional growth as your life-line.
· Don’t teach what you don’t value.
· Embed the teaching of routines into content.
· Communicate clear expectations.
· Demonstrate independence.
· Build strong content knowledge.
· Respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose and discipline
· Comprehend as well as critique.
· Understand other perspectives and cultures.