Ms. Katie here again!
As stated in earlier blog posts, I LOVE doing in-school programming. I love meeting new students and using theatre to explore other subjects and working directly with teachers. I also, however, teach a lot of summer camps, which although amazing and fun and exciting…can be exhausting by the end of the summer.
This summer, I was able to stop by Cardinal Elementary (where I spend a lot of time during the school year anyway) on the very first official day back for faculty and staff. I thought I was just swinging by after camp to say hi to some teachers and subtly start to get the ball rolling on programming for the year. However, Ms. B, one of Cardinal’s music teachers, and Ms. Girardi, one of Cardinal’s reading specialists, had other plans! Within 30 minutes, I found myself staring at a schedule and saying “yeah, I think we can do that…” What had I gotten us into?!
This school year, Cardinal decided to have one of their specials be “tech class,” where students would spend time every other week in the library focusing on technology literacy - activities on their iPads, etc. Though this is a key skill for students, it requires, well, an iPad. This awesome plan hit a glitch when they learned that students wouldn’t be receiving their iPads until at least September 12th - could ETC step in and do programming for every classroom in those first two weeks? Not only could we, but we did! In the first two weeks of school, nearly every classroom (the days off for the holiday weekend excluded a few classrooms) at Cardinal Elementary had an ETC workshop where they focused on team-building, storytelling, and, honestly, just remembering how much fun school can be. Because isn’t that a reminder that we can all use sometimes - how to have fun?
I won’t lie. It was tiring for all involved. Those first two weeks of school are often our time to catch-up on all of the non-camp things that build up. I owe donors thank you letters that are now later than they were before, I spent one day in auditions for the Cardinal Main Stage Residency (which kicked off two weeks ago), and was at another school planning for their in-school work in between workshops one day. It was, however, totally worth it. I never get to be at schools on the very first day back anymore, and the buzz of excitement, awe of kindergarteners, and exhaustion of fifth graders is more fun than I remember! Fall is off and running, and so is ETC!