Teacher! Teacher!

By: Jamie Simpson Steele  

In the United States, teachers often feel unprepared to meet the demands of the profession, and attrition rates indicate approximately half will leave within their first five years. To address this problem, this applied theatre project utilized ethnodrama, integrating research and performance, to stage the stories of first-year teachers. Symbolic interactionism suggests that a focus on individual relationships and stories allows us to explore broader social and cultural dynamics. Researchers interviewed eighteen first-year teachers, and an ensemble of performers then developed a series of monologues, dances, poems, songs, and scenes. These vignettes fit within three categories: (a) transition; (b) students; and (c) the profession. Following culminating performances, audiences (primarily composed of first year teachers, teacher candidates, and teacher educators) shared their reactions.

Applied Theatre, Ethnodrama, Playbuilding, Teacher Induction, Teacher Education
The Arts in Social, Political, and Community Life
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Jamie Simpson Steele

Associate Professor of Performing Arts, College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa