Carolyn has been teaching in Chicago since 2004, starting as an improv teacher for the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. This is where Carolyn developed her constructivist methodology for teaching. Making the classes centered on the students and tailoring her lessons to each students age and ability level, as well as a strong focus on trauma informed classes. From there she has taught students from pre-K through 12th grade in playwriting, theater arts, devising, and yoga. Carolyn believes that early exposure to the arts creates more confident and self aware people, bringing empathy to their lives and the lives around them. Please find Carolyn's full resume below.
American Blues Theater - Playwriting Workshop Teaching Artist, Education Assistant - CPS (current)
Using The Lincoln Project tenets to create plays with 5th-10th graders in conjunction with their Social Studies classes about current events affecting them at home, in class, or throughout the world at large. Session lengths vary from 45 minutes to an hour and a half per class, and anywhere from 2 to 4 writing sessions. I am responsible for selecting the prompts for each session of the class. As classes are more productive with writing prompts through text while other groups benefit from role playing.
L’il Buds - Residency Lead Teacher - Devising and Directing - 6th-8th Grade - Holy Family School - 2019
Leading a week-long residency for classes of 12 students in 6th-8th grades to develop a 10-15 minute long folktale play. We develop the story and characters throughout the first 3 sessions with improv and theatre games, as well as, writing brainstorming sessions from prompts. I am responsible for writing the play in two parts after the first and second sessions of class. We tech all residency shows on the fourth session of the week and perform on the fifth.
Art Day - Fairytale Creation - Lead Teacher,1 & 2nd Grades, Burr Elementary School (2016-18)
Leading classes of 20 first and second grade students to create our own fairytale in a 45 minute session. We use our voices, bodies, and imaginations to create a unique fairytale based on a container story of a fairytale we already know. (i.e. The 3 Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the 3 Bears) We use vocal and physical warm ups to engage the children and follow it with “Let’s go to the …” to observe students’ abilities to create people, animals, and objects in an environment. I then take student suggestions for other places or characters to replace our traditional fairytale. We cast and perform as I narrate to the group of parent volunteers and teachers at the end of our 45 minute session.
Mission Propelle - Lead Teacher, Site Manager,, K-5th Grades, JCC Apachi Day Camp, Mary Seat of Wisdom, Burley, Bell, NCA, Blaine, Columbus, Kilmer, Clinton, and Pierce Elementary Schools (2016-current)
Leading classes of 8 through 16 of mixed ages, K-5th age range, in girls’ empowerment yoga course, that utilize a set curriculum for the class and yoga sequences. These classes are grounded in positive praise, and a warm/authoritative approach to teaching. Storytelling a new character trait each week is a integral part of the curriculum, along with assigning leadership roles to students that follow the behavior tenets of the class and are older in order to keep everyone engaged, despite age level.
Actors’ Training Center– Wilmette – Lead Teacher, Assistant Director, Choreographer, Parent Liaison, 1st- 4th Grades, McKenzie and Romona Elementary Schools (2013-2016)
Responsible for developing scripts, casting, and directing four 1st grade class shows of 25 students each. Responsible for physical and dance warm-ups; choreographing the musical numbers; maintaining school rules and appropriate behavior during snack and bathroom breaks; communicating between the parents, PTO, director, and ATC for the 32 student cast of 1st -4th graders.
Dream Big – Lead Teacher and Assistant Teacher -“So You Want to Be in Commercials!” and “Broadway Bound” respectively - 1st - 3rd Grades (2013)
Creating and implementing the 10-week curriculum, in which the students learn about spike marks, camera shots, physical theater games, creating inventions that the students then script commercials for, culminating in a performance for parents of the 6 student cast. Aiding the lead teacher with games and warm-ups, as well as maintaining school rules and appropriate behavior during snack and bathroom breaks for the 15 student cast.
Cook County Juvenile Detention Center – Improvisation Teacher (2004-2006)
Creating a 12 week curriculum teaching 15-18 year old males charged as adults short-form improv culminating in a talent show at the end of each semester.
MinnieLand Daycare Center - Teaching Assistant 2 Year-Old Classroom (2001)
Working in a 6:1 student:teacher ratio room; creating and implementing weekly themed lessons plans, including art projects, storytelling, and meals.