Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New school year… and building a new dance program!

Well, it's really high time I wrote about what has come about over the summer, and my new school for the new school year (and, I hope, for the indefinite future). I am now building the (nearly) new dance program at De Anza High School, back in the district where I live. This is the school where I assisted the PE teacher who was assigned two periods of Dance last year, in hopes of growing the program… Well, the program has grown, from about 50 students last year to over 100 in three classes now — and I have very high hopes for the future!

Even so, it took some doing to keep the program going, as it nearly became a casualty of our credential situation. The circumstance in this case was that the district had a teacher (credentialed in PE) who needed a placement, and went to place him in the open "PE/Dance" position at De Anza — which led to the budding dance program nearly being dissolved when the teacher said he couldn't teach dance! It took the intervention of an arts-focused school board member to save the program -- she reminded the district administration about the district's stated commitment to the arts, and couched the problem as a mistake needing correction. In short order, the position was re-opened in order to hire a dance specialist, and I am now teaching three classes full of enthusiastic students. I have waited much too long to write about this — I am still catching up from starting the school year two weeks late, as well as teaching more than full time — but I do hope to be more regular about writing this year, even if in little bits. Happy new school year!

(the picture is of the empty dance studio — empty, since my students have not signed photo releases yet — not too large, but so far a lovely little space to teach in).

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