We very much appreciated the care and professionalism BAYFEST brought to our teachers’ workshop. We felt the day’s overall intent and the specific activities were based on our goals, and definitely were not a cookie-cutter agenda. Our facilitator’s approach was very open and open-hearted. Some of us had thought we might feel awkward or embarrassed to “perform” in front of each other, but the flow of activities put us at ease and built up our confidence. Our facilitator showed great integrity, so we felt a high level of trust.
Our goal was to have a team building experience. One activity had us each silently shape the letters of our names, and then refine our movements while adding other mimed details about our personalities. Not only did we admire each other’s portrayals, we really did get some new insights into ourselves and the others … and we have mostly been a team for years and years. Even after the workshop, a couple of us have sometimes referred to our mimes in a kind of short-hand, adding some new personality detail.
The BAYFEST workshop activities have reminded us to listen to not only what someone else is saying, but how they are saying it. One teacher mentioned that the activities reacquainted her with drafting her own thoughts. The fact that we were given a very safe environment within which we could face some challenges reminded us that we, too, need to create these safe, inclusive environments for our students and their families.
Our workshop was so successful we felt a little sad when it ended. We highly recommend BAYFEST!
Carolyn Wirkman, Principal, Kirkland
BAYFEST Youth Theatre is producing an all-school musical this winter and spring for our school. I approached BAYFEST about this after I saw a performance of a small group of middle school students put on a short play last year about the history of Pathfinder and why we name each classroom after an animal. I was so impressed with the quality of the play and how serious each of the performers were about what they had created, I needed to have BAYFEST become more involved in our school. The idea of an all-school musical was instantly popular with record numbers of students participating, and a number of our teachers volunteered to help as well. I find BAYFEST Director Robert Shampain easy to work with, the quality of the programming and their teaching artists to be outstanding, and BAYFEST has a goal of involving as many students and teachers as they can, with class tie-ins included whenever possible. The BAYFEST mission is to “Develop the Extraordinary Potential of Youth through Dramatic and Active Arts”. I want to continue to utilize their approach to working with our students. Last summer I had BAYFEST run a summer program at Pathfinder and we will support this again this coming summer.I am so happy that we have tapped into such a strong youth program and have been able to offer a program after school for 70 of our students. The enthusiasm that I see and hear from our students and parents makes me feel that I need to find more opportunities to have BAYFEST work in our school.
David Dockendorf Pathfinder K-8 Principal , Seattle
The BAYFEST teachers are awesome, and corps members have loved their sessions!
John Stoneburner, Director, Teaching & Learning
Teach For America – Los Angeles
[The sessions were] so beneficial for both finding new ways to incorporate academics in my dance classes, and arts skills in my English classes!
Lindsey C. – Manual arts High School, Los Angeles
These techniques are critical for differentiation…giving kids access to difficult material.Will A. – Animo HS, Inglewood, CA
This was Fantastic! Honestly, one of the most useful sessions I have attended. Thank You!
Teach for America teacher, Los Angeles