Category Archives: Theatre

My ideas and experiences in the performing arts

Theatrical Philosophy of Teaching ESL

Classroom before - chiew

As I grew up surrounded by teachers in my family, it was little surprise that I also wanted to join that field.  Nonetheless, I could have never imagined where in the world this incredibly inspiring profession would take me.

My ESL teaching ideology is deeply rooted in my passion for the performing arts.  My classrooms all contain hints of what I carry with me from my theatrical experience and degree in Theatre.

As an ESL instructor, I see this type of classroom as a “rehearsal space” for a much larger and more important performance: real life.  A teacher must come to know and understand students as a director would with its actors.  Neither a teacher nor a theatre director is there to provide all of the answers.  Instead, we are here to guide, to coach, and to inspire the learners.  The relationship we build in the classroom, or rehearsal space, should instill a sense of energy for students to want to learn and grow with the new language.

Like a director, who must bring forth useful tools for actors, a teacher is responsible for creating materials and demonstrating the devices required to succeed in the art of language learning, be it for reading, writing, listening, or speaking.  Naturally, all of these skills overlap and are used together in real life performance; therefore, a teacher needs to assist in this real-life preparation while acknowledging students’ different learning styles and aspirations.  From there, an instructor can implement effective lessons accordingly.

Most importantly, an ESL teacher must be willing to go an extra step to provide a comfortable learning space that allows students to achieve confidence: confidence to use new language outside of the classroom; confidence that they can achieve their goals if they work hard; confidence to not be afraid to make mistakes; and confidence to never stop exploring.  This will surely make them ready for the real stage, which is the whole reason teachers should step into the classroom to begin with.

The Three Cuckolds

 

 

 

 
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lower Columbia College

Creative Commons License photo credit: eltpics

 

 

Hot Seats in Toronto

DSC_4832_toned_full_quality

Despite the cold weather, we have definitely begun to get cozy in our relationship with Toronto.

First, with the new year and Edwin’s constant online hunts for a good bargain, we became a member of “House Seats.”  Not to sound like an advertisement, but this idea is genius!  For a flat fee, (which we got discounted due to a lucky find on Groupon), we have access to countless shows for free.  Each member can receive two FREE tickets for any show that comes available through the network.

They usually center around theatre, music, and other live performances.  In only two weeks, I have already seen a murder mystery, an amazing show at Tarragon Theatre, and a live comedy Improv show.  Sitting near these stages has brought my excitement back to the foreground.  It has made my upcoming theatre volunteer nights much more exciting.

It’s all thanks to a wonderful boyfriend (don’t tell him I said that) who has not allowed the winter temperatures keep us from exploring the city’s cultural pleasures.  It keeps date nights new and interesting and dinner conversation about more than hours at work and countdowns to summer sunsets.

Second, along with a great partner, one needs great friends.  I am lucky to have both.  I am thankful for friends who are up for exploring–new cafes, new restaurants,  new dance floors, and even skating rinks.  Weekends are turning out to be one adventure after another.

And with this season of Winterlicious (Toronto restaurants’ amazing winter meal deals) upon us, I have a feeling the cold won’t be making me blue this year.

Creative Commons License photo credit: minasodaboy

Christmas Bells and New Years Wishes

Leavenworth

Happy New Year!  2012 is here.  My first holiday season at home in five years flew by in a flash!  Full of family visiting, delicious food eating, wine drinking, carol singing, Christmas tree decorating, gift opening, constant laughing, and good cheer all ’round.  A layer of beautiful crisp snow even decided to make an appearance surrounding the days of Christmas.

It felt wonderful to be at home, and even more special was the fact that I could share old and new family traditions with Edwin (who may or may not think the whole lot of us are crazy!).

At some points, it felt as if I had never left.  Other times, I still felt a bit like an outsider from everyone’s settled lives back home.  I guess that always comes hand in hand with living abroad for so long.  New types of relationships are building with my family members as I am now closer to home and trying to be more a part of everything.

However, after the time at home, I was ready and excited to get a new year started back here in the big city.  We arrived a few days before New Years to get our abandoned apartment back in order and stocked with all of our newly acquired gifts.  My own bed felt wonderful!

New Years came and went, with myself spending midnight on the couch due to some questionable drinks early in the night.  Nevertheless, 2012 is starting out to be a great year.

1. I got my sorry butt to the gym.  Although my routine hasn’t been as regular as I want, I know it’s a step in the right direction.  I hope to roll out my yoga mat starting next week!

2. With the gym comes an effort for healthy eating.  Edwin is also in on this, and a partnership definitely helps.  I’m enjoying cooking in my kitchen again and trying to find fun and creative ways to make nutritious meals and snacks (with the occasional bowl of ice cream!)

3. After a bit of stress last month of a lack of job, my pleads were answered with an opportunity at an ESL college downtown.  I can walk or bike to work and get the chance to meet students from new countries.  My global education continues to grow with these very interesting learners!

4. Finally, I went for it!  I contacted numerous city theatre companies to volunteer, and I received responses asking for help right away! I have volunteer dates set up for the next few weeks AND an opportunity to attend a first rehearsal with the possibility of becoming an assistant stage manager.  I’m super excited to see where this will lead and if my quieted passion for the theatre process will reawaken and direct me back to the stage.

2012, here I come!

Creative Commons License photo credit: verifex

Category Archives: Theatre

My ideas and experiences in the performing arts

Theatrical Philosophy of Teaching ESL

Classroom before - chiew

As I grew up surrounded by teachers in my family, it was little surprise that I also wanted to join that field.  Nonetheless, I could have never imagined where in the world this incredibly inspiring profession would take me.

My ESL teaching ideology is deeply rooted in my passion for the performing arts.  My classrooms all contain hints of what I carry with me from my theatrical experience and degree in Theatre.

As an ESL instructor, I see this type of classroom as a “rehearsal space” for a much larger and more important performance: real life.  A teacher must come to know and understand students as a director would with its actors.  Neither a teacher nor a theatre director is there to provide all of the answers.  Instead, we are here to guide, to coach, and to inspire the learners.  The relationship we build in the classroom, or rehearsal space, should instill a sense of energy for students to want to learn and grow with the new language.

Like a director, who must bring forth useful tools for actors, a teacher is responsible for creating materials and demonstrating the devices required to succeed in the art of language learning, be it for reading, writing, listening, or speaking.  Naturally, all of these skills overlap and are used together in real life performance; therefore, a teacher needs to assist in this real-life preparation while acknowledging students’ different learning styles and aspirations.  From there, an instructor can implement effective lessons accordingly.

Most importantly, an ESL teacher must be willing to go an extra step to provide a comfortable learning space that allows students to achieve confidence: confidence to use new language outside of the classroom; confidence that they can achieve their goals if they work hard; confidence to not be afraid to make mistakes; and confidence to never stop exploring.  This will surely make them ready for the real stage, which is the whole reason teachers should step into the classroom to begin with.

The Three Cuckolds

 

 

 

 
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lower Columbia College

Creative Commons License photo credit: eltpics

 

 

Hot Seats in Toronto

DSC_4832_toned_full_quality

Despite the cold weather, we have definitely begun to get cozy in our relationship with Toronto.

First, with the new year and Edwin’s constant online hunts for a good bargain, we became a member of “House Seats.”  Not to sound like an advertisement, but this idea is genius!  For a flat fee, (which we got discounted due to a lucky find on Groupon), we have access to countless shows for free.  Each member can receive two FREE tickets for any show that comes available through the network.

They usually center around theatre, music, and other live performances.  In only two weeks, I have already seen a murder mystery, an amazing show at Tarragon Theatre, and a live comedy Improv show.  Sitting near these stages has brought my excitement back to the foreground.  It has made my upcoming theatre volunteer nights much more exciting.

It’s all thanks to a wonderful boyfriend (don’t tell him I said that) who has not allowed the winter temperatures keep us from exploring the city’s cultural pleasures.  It keeps date nights new and interesting and dinner conversation about more than hours at work and countdowns to summer sunsets.

Second, along with a great partner, one needs great friends.  I am lucky to have both.  I am thankful for friends who are up for exploring–new cafes, new restaurants,  new dance floors, and even skating rinks.  Weekends are turning out to be one adventure after another.

And with this season of Winterlicious (Toronto restaurants’ amazing winter meal deals) upon us, I have a feeling the cold won’t be making me blue this year.

Creative Commons License photo credit: minasodaboy

Christmas Bells and New Years Wishes

Leavenworth

Happy New Year!  2012 is here.  My first holiday season at home in five years flew by in a flash!  Full of family visiting, delicious food eating, wine drinking, carol singing, Christmas tree decorating, gift opening, constant laughing, and good cheer all ’round.  A layer of beautiful crisp snow even decided to make an appearance surrounding the days of Christmas.

It felt wonderful to be at home, and even more special was the fact that I could share old and new family traditions with Edwin (who may or may not think the whole lot of us are crazy!).

At some points, it felt as if I had never left.  Other times, I still felt a bit like an outsider from everyone’s settled lives back home.  I guess that always comes hand in hand with living abroad for so long.  New types of relationships are building with my family members as I am now closer to home and trying to be more a part of everything.

However, after the time at home, I was ready and excited to get a new year started back here in the big city.  We arrived a few days before New Years to get our abandoned apartment back in order and stocked with all of our newly acquired gifts.  My own bed felt wonderful!

New Years came and went, with myself spending midnight on the couch due to some questionable drinks early in the night.  Nevertheless, 2012 is starting out to be a great year.

1. I got my sorry butt to the gym.  Although my routine hasn’t been as regular as I want, I know it’s a step in the right direction.  I hope to roll out my yoga mat starting next week!

2. With the gym comes an effort for healthy eating.  Edwin is also in on this, and a partnership definitely helps.  I’m enjoying cooking in my kitchen again and trying to find fun and creative ways to make nutritious meals and snacks (with the occasional bowl of ice cream!)

3. After a bit of stress last month of a lack of job, my pleads were answered with an opportunity at an ESL college downtown.  I can walk or bike to work and get the chance to meet students from new countries.  My global education continues to grow with these very interesting learners!

4. Finally, I went for it!  I contacted numerous city theatre companies to volunteer, and I received responses asking for help right away! I have volunteer dates set up for the next few weeks AND an opportunity to attend a first rehearsal with the possibility of becoming an assistant stage manager.  I’m super excited to see where this will lead and if my quieted passion for the theatre process will reawaken and direct me back to the stage.

2012, here I come!

Creative Commons License photo credit: verifex

Awards

Kristin’s Backpack won 1st Prize for TESL Ontario’s 2011 ESL Week Blog Contest.
About Me


Welcome to Kristin’s Backpack! I jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2010 to share my Canadian-theatrical-backpacking perspective on my world adventures. With my return to Canada, I will continue to dig into my pockets and reflect on life as it has come to involve Teaching, Travel, and Theatre. Time to unzip the pockets!
Portfolios
Check out my past and current work here: 

Kristin's Library
Looking for some interesting reading material? Check out my Reading Picks and Bookworm post for some ideas! 

               
This is what summer is all about- finished a book yesterday and am on to the next today.  I just opened The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which has been on my shelf for ages.  I have been extremely interested in reading accounts that stem from true stories in a dark history that is often swept to the side.  
At the same time, I have been listening to The Maze Runner series as an audio book and have been extremely captivated by the young characters’ circumstances and their view on the world.  
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