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The University of Alabama TH245 Teaching Theater Guest Lecture


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Lecture on making arts education spaces more accessible and inclusive. Beginning with brief introduction of myself and the sensorimotor poetry workshops, then broadening out to best practices and facilitator mindset.

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The University of Alabama TH245 Teaching Theater Guest Lecture

  1. 1. Inclusive & Accessible Poetry Donnie Welch Donnie Welch Poetry The University of Alabama TH245 Teaching Theater 2/11/2019
  2. 2. In 2015 I turned down a fellowship from the New York City Teaching Fellows to run poetry workshops for students with autism. I started running workshops that involved tabletop, hands-on sensory play.
  3. 3. Sensorimotor Poetry Workshops A curriculum grounded in social-emotional learning and based on the belief that movement and literacy go hand-in-hand. Movement helps us understand rhythm, rhythm helps us understand poetry, and poetry helps us understand each other.
  4. 4. What Makes It Work Fun Rhythmic, routine, and regulating Adaptable Developmentally appropriate Interdisciplinary
  5. 5. As Facilitator • Be Patient • Not only with students, but with yourself • Keep a journal and video (if able) to reflect • Be Flexible • Stick out your can, here comes a lesson plan – Theodore Roethke “First Class” • Be an Advocate • ”You don’t have to be a voice for the voiceless, just pass the mic” – Anon. Tweet • Disability Visibility Project
  6. 6. Be Real “[T]he teacher’s acceptance of their vulnerability connects them to students who are often vulnerable because of how they are positioned in society. It is this joint vulnerability that is the prerequisite for change.” — Christopher Emdin For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Ya’ll Too: Reality Pedagogy in Urban Education Book photo via
  7. 7. Questions, Comments, New Followers @DonnieWelchPoetry @DonnieWelchPoet