Fall Class Instructor - Norma Kvarda
Norma Kvarda holds a BFA, an MFA in technical theatre/design, and a Master in teaching with a WA state teaching credential. She's taught preschool, mentoring at-risk youth within an arts setting, teaching undergraduate drama students, directing, and designing inclusive model middle and high school theatrical productions as well as tutoring adults through an adult literacy program. She is currently an interventionist, through the state’s learning assistance program at Ruby Bridges Elementary in the Northshore school district. Her formal classroom experience is in its third year, and she's had experience as a theatrical teaching artist and arts advocate for over three decades. In every project, she emphasizes equity, collaboration, social/emotional benefits, executive functioning, and emphasizes her role as a facilitator of the students' learning experience. Approaching the practice as learner-centered has led to deeper understandings that are long lasting and also to deeper joy.
While a mentor to CTE (Career and Technical Education) students in the drama program at Everett High School, she was required to adapt sessions according to the needs of a particular script in combination with the vision of the director/teacher. The ability level of a group of tech students must be considered when planning content and setting production goals. Differentiation among students at all levels required designing project-based instruction so that they could reach goals while still being challenged to learn something new at the same time. She's created and begun work with students in the first drama club ever at my elementary school. The club was offered to only 3rd-5th grade; over 130 students attended the first informational sessions. Our youth are simply hungry for the arts.
In these roles, she lead groups of students with mutual respect, good humor, and positivity. As a teaching artist, she led by setting clear expectations and timelines and maintains an environment of partnership and teamwork. That students find and promote the value of their own work and their own voice is paramount.