As CYT continues to grow, so do the number of blog topics we cover. Many of you already network with other CYT’s around the nation and/or scour our National Resource Library to find the secrets of the CYT trade- only to find yourself wanting more of CYT! Because of this need, we look forward to sharing our “How to” interviews with you on a consistent basis.

Linda Wolfe is CYT San Diego’s Artistic Associate of Curriculum. I sat down with her one late afternoon, and gave her a penny for her thoughts on how to find a “Quality Teacher.”

Explain Quantity vs Quality.

When you start an area, you want to grow and offer a wide variety of classes to kids, but it’s best to have quality over quantity. Sometimes it isn’t feasible to offer all of the classes we would like- due to enrollment numbers and teacher availability- but you should always look at quality first because there’s always that danger of growing too big too fast, without the quality.

Do you recommend any web resources?

We put an ad on Craigslist one time, and had some teachers that ended up being great from there. Some of our better teachers have been actual teachers in our own community, such as parents of CYT kids that have teaching experience that we just stumble upon. It helps a lot when they are already familiar with CYT.

Describe a “Quality Teacher” in 5 adjectives or less…

  • Passionate- for what they are teaching. It has to be about the kid, and not about them. It’s about passing on the love of what you’re teaching to the student- it’s a trickledown effect. There are students that myself as well as others have taught who are now CYT Teachers and on artistic teams- specifically Meagan Flint, Ashley Melton, and Michael Sanchez. It’s cool to see what they’ve learned throughout their years of CYT and see them passing it on.
  • Organized- have a great lesson plan with good curriculum to back it up, and be punctual and dependable!
  • Loving- love all of the students and remember everyone learns differently at a different pace, look for the best in each one and help bring that out.
  • Knowledgeable- know what you are teaching and always continue to learn more right along with the students- the learning should never end.

Do you have a checklist prior to hiring?

There are questions we ask in interviews, like: what would you do in certain situations or how do you handle disciplining kids or what age group are you most comfortable working with…. usually they bring along a resume so we can see their theater experience and teaching experience.

…Any red flags in the interview process?

Sometimes I think it’s more of a personality issue. We want to hire teachers that have a passion for teaching, a love for kids and the arts. If you run across a teacher that seems like they don’t enjoy the kids and the process as well as the being able to follow through with a great lesson plan, then this probably isn’t a good fit for them. If someone is overly strict in discipline and doesn’t seem to have any fun with the kids and seems a little more about themselves, then that would be a red flag. Every teacher needs to be kind, compassionate and loving, and realize this is a learning process . Everyone deserves a chance. We do have our CYT Behavioral contract that teachers and students need to follow.

Linda Wolfe has been teaching and directing with CYT since 1990. She is married, and has three children, who are involved in CYT and have a blast participating!

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