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Posted October 25, 2012

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Experience on Stage Impacts a Teacher's View of the Classroom

Yolanda Montalvo, a first-grade bilingual teacher at La Luz Elementary who had a part in a play along with Matheson Park first-grade teacher Verna Chandler, reflects on how her experience affected the way she teaches and views her students.

Yolanda Montalvo of La Luz ES

Earlier this month, two APS teachers had the opportunity to perform in a play written by Federico Garcia Lorca. Yolanda Montalvo, a first-grade bilingual teacher at La Luz Elementary, and Verna Chandler, a first-grade teacher at Matheson Park Elementary, had roles in the play "La Casa de Bernarda Alba" presented at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

The play is about a domineering matriarch who imposes an eight-year mourning period on her daughters after the death of her second husband. It is a very dark play that demonstrates the oppression of women in Spain. This play was Federico Garcia Lorca's last play before his death and is considered his master work.

"This experience has influenced my teaching in many ways," said Montalvo. "It taught me that you are never to old to try something new. I will continue to encourage my students to follow their dreams. It has taught me that everything you choose to do in life takes practice. I will continue to tell my students to try new things. If you fall short once, then try again. Never give up.

"This experience has opened my eyes to the demands we make on our students. I am more sensitive to the individual practice that each student needs in order to perform to the best of his ability. Looking back over my years of teaching, I am amazed at how well my students have performed in front of an audience. I have never had a student who has suffered from stage fright. I did. My students are all little stars and I applaud them for all of their efforts throughout my years of teaching."

The two teachers rehearsed for three and a half hours a day five to six days a week for six weeks without missing a day of school for rehearsal. .



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