Photo credit: Tibetan Association of Philadelphia on Facebook.
As part of a new Q&A series, we will be getting to know the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 grantees. The Tibetan Association of Philadelphia strives to preserve and promote the unique Tibetan culture, traditions, and language within the Tibetan Community and further the just cause of Tibet. They received a $7,500 Bartol grant for their Tibetan cultural dance and song program.
These questions were answered by the Tibetan Association’s Sunday School teachers and directors.
When do you know your work is making a difference?
When the kids perform well on the quizzes and when they seem enthusiastic about learning Tibetan.
What is the coolest thing a participant in your program ever said to you?
When the students said, “It is so fun. Need to do again.”
What is the most important thing you do to help your teaching artists do their best work?
To provide good resources and create a positive and healthy environment. I make sure to give them assignments regularly and also switch up the teaching methods often such as giving them an art projects or tests or assignments, discussions and such. This ensures that they are not bored with the monotony of the traditional method of teachers talking and students listening.
What is the best tip you can give to someone doing arts education programs like yours?
Have fun, learn, and enjoy. Having fun while learning helps to retain information better because the process is enjoyable and memorable. Keep the students engaged. Keep it interesting. Give them breaks. The average span of attention these young children is very short so trying to drill information for hours on end will not be successful. Find ways to encourage them whether it be in encouraging words, little toys, or treats (these do not have be expansive). If they can relate to you and like you, they will listen and learn.
If you could magically change one thing to make your program better, what would it be?
Having a community center will help with the effectiveness and quality of all the programs that we undertake. More resources and more hands-on projects.
What is your favorite field trip? (Real or imagined.)
My favorite field trip was a Sunday School field trip to Wissahickon Valley Park Trail during summer camp. Children got to learn about the environment and its related words in the Tibetan language. They got to play and learn.