Theatre in Education course gives future teachers a hands-on learning experience
- Jordan Fries
- Wednesday, December 4th, 2019
Dr. Carol Jordan’s Theatre in Education class is giving her students real-life experience in Bowling Green classrooms. For Hayley Watson, an English for Secondary Teachers (EST) major from Campbellsville, this means being able to teach another subject that she feels passionate about.
“I was a big theatre kid in high school,” Watson said. “I loved acting. I loved crew. So, I thought if I had to teach anything along with English, I would love to be a part of any school’s theatre department.”
According to Watson, the Theatre in Education course does not focus exclusively on teaching theatre. “This course focuses mainly on how to include theatre within a curriculum,” Watson added. “So, even if you’re not looking to into teaching theatre itself, it teaches ways of including theatrical elements within your course. For example, if you are a history teacher, you can include historical reenactments.”
Students interact with kindergarteners, third graders, and high schoolers, letting them see where theatre can be applied in a class curriculum. According to Watson, the class has proved to be enjoyable for both the teaching majors and the K-12 students. “The K-12 teachers were very accepting of us. The kids were super excited that we were there. It just felt really gratifying,” Watson said. “Our teacher, Carol Jordan, is amazing. She is super fun, and she makes the course very applicable to us. When we’re not in the schools, we’re learning as students, so a lot of the time Carol Jordan will make us do activities that she had her students do. I just really enjoy going in because I know every day we’ll be doing something fun or different.”
Watson said that the course has been beneficial to her as she has future plans to teach high school English. She said that seeing the impact teachers have on students throughout their education is something that makes her passionate about teaching.
“Education isn’t necessarily an isolated thing,” Watson explained. “It’s a development. It just really gave me an appreciation knowing that I’m not an isolated teacher. I’m one in a long line of teachers that students will have. It has made want to have more of an impact.”
By visiting local Bowling Green schools, the course not only gives the next generation of teachers hands-on experience, it also elevates the community by making theatre fun and accessible. According to Watson, learning theatre offers kids skills they can bring into the real world. “It teaches you things that other things just can’t,” Watson said. “People talk about sports instilling teamwork and collaboration, and I think theatre’s the same. It’s just a different skillset.”
Watson said she sees the value in incorporating theatre into education.
“Theatre’s almost everywhere,” Watson said. “We see it in different aspects, like in TV. It’s bringing art to life, and I feel like if students have that in education, they’ll have an appreciation for it. People nowadays see the arts as excess, but in reality, a lot of it is what we live off of and thrive off of. I think kids should have that opportunity just as much as anyone else.”
For more information on the English for Secondary Teachers major, contact advisor Peggy Otto, or visit