Santita Danjou is a local Theater Arts teacher who has been teaching for 11 years and currently works at Evans Middle School in Evans, Georgia. WJBF asked Ms. Danjou to tell us why literacy and education are important in the classroom. This is what she had to say:
What is most important to you in the classroom? What do you want your students to take away from their time with you?
“I taught ELA for nine years before I became a theatre arts teacher. With the transition, I brought along with me strategies and concepts that I believe to be important for every child’s education, mainly, confidence. Confidence is my key focus in the theatre classroom. Cultivating a safe environment for students to take risks is first and foremost, but for students to thrive in school and in the real world they most acquire confidence in their abilities and who they are. Yes, we have fun, we laugh, we play, but the most important thing I want them to walk away with is a better sense of themselves (confidence), strengthen their communications skills (verbal and nonverbal), evoke their creativity, and make connections between themselves and others that may not look like them, speak like them, or have grown up the way they have grown up. Teaching theatre is a means for me to do just that.”
What is the most valuable thing you have learned during your time teaching?
“The most valuable thing I have learned during my time teaching may have become a cliche at this point, but it has proven to be true over the years. My students may forget the grammar concepts I have taught them or the literary/theatrical concepts, but they will never forget how I made them feel.”
Why did you decide to pursue a career in education?
“Since I was a little girl, I have always had a passion for learning and then teaching my nieces and nephews (I became an aunt at the age of 6. My oldest sister and I have a 13 year age difference) what I learned in school. I found joy in sharing my knowledge with others. Teaching wasn’t my first major in college, but after wasting a semester, I finally set out to do what my heart had been urging me to pursue throughout high school, not for the money or summer breaks, but for the pure joy of the seeing someone’s face light up when they have learned something new.”
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