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A school for teachers

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School is back in session!

We are excited to be joining forces with the Appleton Area School District (AASD) for the third year in a row to partner with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. in the Partners in Education Program.

So what is the “Partners in Education” program? Basically it’s a series of workshops for educators that teach them how to integrate arts into their classroom. The cool part is it really pushes teachers to get creative. This year’s workshops include topics like literature, music, math and movement.

Before class begins, we asked teaching artist Stuart Stotts (who is leading the first workshop) about arts integration, the workshops and how arts fit in the classroom.

Stotts will be presenting the workshop Arts Integration: The Kennedy Center Approach on Tuesday, September 23.

Tell us about yourself?

I am a singer, storyteller, author and education trainer who has worked in the schools for nearly thirty years. I have traveled around the United States giving concerts, providing residencies and professional development for educators both independently and with the Kennedy Center. I also love the Packers!

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Stuart Stotts engaging with teachers at a recent workshop.

What is arts integration?

Arts integration is a way to connect curriculum and art forms to build a deeper understanding of both areas. In addition, arts integration emphasizes creativity, which is a central skill that kids will need throughout their lives.

Why do you believe the arts are great tool for teaching students?

The arts are deeply engaging. They can connect to students’ interests and bring emotion into learning. Because of this, students are energized to learn which also brings new energy into teachers’ instruction.

Can you tell us what Classroom Connections teacher workshops are like?

Stotts leading an educator workshop

The workshops are very interactive and emphasize teaching concepts that teachers can use the next day. They are three hours in length, but feel faster because they are fun, hands-on and get you up and out of your seat.

What will educators be equipped to do after the Arts Integration workshop?

Rather than just learning activities to teach your students, this workshop will be focused on developing a deeper understanding of arts and how to use them in your classroom. Through this workshop educators will be able to reflect on their own teaching and make plans for future growth in an arts integrated direction. This is a wonderful workshop to kick off the school year with!

What are three things educators will take away after this experience?

  • To understand why arts integration makes sense as a core educational approach.
  • To be able to recognize the different ways arts are in the schools.
  • To understand more about creativity.

The bell for the first workshop is about to ring so if you are a teacher or know a teacher who would love to attend, click here to learn more!

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