Christina Massie, English
I can't believe I have been teaching for ten years! It has been a thrill to teach at Brooklyn Tech for four of these
years. My prior experiences before becoming a teacher are in the theatre and television where I was a stage
manager. Due to my background, I incorporate the arts heavily in the classroom. I believe creativity very often
leads to success in learning. Some projects that I have used in class that I have found success with are Shakespeare
and Edgar Allen Poe presentations. With Shakespeare I get the kids to revise the text in different time periods of
choice and to present their work. In addition each student has a technical job (director, costumes, sets). I find revising
the text helps for interpretation and engagement. Of course I have some rules about the text. For example students
must keep the character names and the plot line must stay the same. Having students have technical jobs engages those
who may be a bit shy about presenting to the class. With Poe's short stories I had students analyze and interpret a tale and adapt it to film; students created and produced their own Poe film by shooting throughout the building. I am most proud that, when exposed to the arts in my class, students often get involved in the school productions. I am happy to say many current stage works (after school club) students were in my class at one time or another.
I predominately teach 9th grade and have taught 11th and this year am teaching one section of senior drama class.
Upon starting at Tech, I have worked on the musical productions beginning with Pink Floyd's "The Wall," into last years production of "Hairspray." All theatrical productions are important; both the annual play and the musical. These shows give our kids an outlet they need to express themselves both in front of the lights and behind the scenes. Students are able to work with all different age groups and meet people with similar interests. They learn discipline and routine, and the value of teamwork. Collaboratively students from stage-works to performer to band member unify to make a production complete. Without the play and musical, the community at Tech will not be the same. The Arts have had positive influences on our kids! Please save our Arts programs! We need all the support we can!