TAs Thriving: Tip #1 Join an accountability network

Before I dive into explaining tip 1, listen to Nina!

Nina’s version of Here Comes the Sun seemed fitting to this morning’s posting. Daybreak!

It’s the first Monday of April (TAMA’s TA Cafe day!) during the week of the first-ever national Teaching Artist Conference! My soul is happy! Knowing you are part of a community is essential.

Another community that is important to me is my family!

Their love holds me, and it’s continually expanding. It’s a dynamic place to enter for me. It’s my growing place, a nurturing environment where we co-exist as teachers and learners.

With the pandemic, so much has happened both personally and professionally – and then, in November, my family experienced an emergency, forcing us to stop everything and re-evaluate our relationship with each other. I’ve been overwhelmed, tired, discouraged, scared, angry, and lost. Now more than ever, we’ve needed each other. It’s not been easy. Through it all, we’ve been teaching and learning. We’ve adapted. Grown. We are resilient together. They amaze me.

Another community that amazes me is TAMA! Today is the first Monday of the month when the TA Cafe meets at 9:30 AM. I imagine we will recap last Tuesday’s Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts session. If you can, drop by!

Here comes the sun, little darling!

As I explain tip one, I’m listening to Nina sing. I sing along. I hope her words resonate with you. I hope we sing together, “it’s alright, little darling.”

1. Join an accountability network.

Gather with a professional circle of colleagues and discuss all the things. A nurturing environment where members co-exist as teachers and learners. We’ve got a lot of growing to do as a field. We are still so young as a profession!

So, find your people. Have a standing appointment with them. Network, propose ideas and brainstorm solutions.

Live in the mid-Atlantic states? You know where I think you belong. Join and list yourself in the TAMA TA Directory, and get access to the zoom link! It’s free and takes 15 seconds to join. You have 14 days to complete your profile and make yourself look super slick and flashy. There is no reason why you wouldn’t join today!

TAMA’s Logo

Need more inspiration to join a network? Check out my previous post: Come home to TAMA. If you’re not ready to take the plunge, at the very least, put yourself on the Teaching Artist Asset Map! Are you hesitant to even do that? Seriously, I get it. Don’t believe me? I wasn’t always behind TAMA! I was a naysayer. Check this out! Lastly, as I mentioned yesterday, the first-ever National Teaching Artist conference is happening this week. Attend. Part or all of it. There is no cost to you. Embrace this phenomenal opportunity and register today!

There is a hesitancy to come together in our field. There are so many reasons. Lack of time. Lack of pressure. Lack of interest. Lack of trust. Fear.

I can’t convince you. I know there’s lots to gain and nothing to lose.

Here comes the sun, little darling.

Here comes the sun, little darlin’, I say
It’s alright
Little darlin’
Here comes the sun, yeah
Here comes the sun, I say
Little darlin’
It seems like years since you’ve been here
Little darlin’
Here comes the sun
It’s alright now
You can come on out now
It’s alright now
You can come on out
‘Cause it’s alright
Here comes the sun, yes

Nina Simone’s Outro

Come back tomorrow for tip #2, where I’ll give you suggestions on what to do in your network. Till then, ponder this quote from of my favorite books for Teaching Artists!

Teaching artists should join together

to fight for better working conditions.

Michael Wiggins in Teaching Artist Sutras

Published by Jennifer Ridgway | Yard Dramas

Theatre Teaching Artist | activating artistry and moving the collective soul

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