Listening to the Silences: A Teacher’s First Year in Words and Music
Keywords:beginning teachers, interviews, personal narratives, ethnodrama, teacher induction, Chicago Public Schools
AbstractListening to the Silences is an ethnodrama – an example of verbatim theatre that evokes a teacher’s first year in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) based on the words voiced during a series of four interviews sessions conducted by the author. The protagonist, Indiana Ingelside, spent her first year in CPS in an African American school in one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. The show is intended to help the audience reflect on the beginning teacher’s experiences of working in that setting. The script evokes the challenges of teaching within environments shaped by social policies that do not address, and frequently exacerbate, the poverty, racism, and other forms of injustice that shape the lives of children and families of color. The article begins with the complete playscript and then concludes with an afterword that describes what the author learned from developing and producing the show. Photos from the Philadelphia workshops are included.
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