Fall Retreat Focuses on Teaching through Arts

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Meridian, Miss. Teachers from across the state of Mississippi were learning more about how to better integrate arts in the classroom. Learning about various tips and techniques to give a new way of instruction on the core subjects to their students.

“We take the theater, we take the content area which is their state standards that they have to and we put them both together,” explained Penny Mack, Regional Advisor with the Mississippi Arts Commission, “to make learning fun for the students and to make them have to think and respond right then.”

Around 65 instructors were being educated on various Drama strategies, so they could implement them in their classrooms, and take different risks when teaching our students.

“They have to see their teachers do that and the teachers have to feel comfortable with that to allow their students to do that, so that is what our retreats do, we are trying to give them a chance to do it, experience it, so that they will bring it back to the classroom,” stated Mack.

The event was held at Poplar Springs Elementary School, which is considered a Model School for the Whole Schools Initiative, where arts integration is ongoing in every classroom.

“We use their school, we come and look at how they are teaching their students, how they are displaying their artwork, what are the kinds of things that they are doing with their community, so we can use it as a model to show other people in different parts of the state,” said Whole Schools Initiative Director, Andrea Coleman.

Integrating arts in the classroom is a community wide effort and giving students new ways of learning can help each student find their place.

“I think it helps children find a place that maybe don’t have a place, because the arts in some form or another they are going to touch somebody in one capacity or another,” explained Coleman.

For more information about the Whole Schools Initiative you can click on the link provided.