Blog Post

Introducing our Teacher Development Program

A few weeks ago, we announced that Highwire Improv is launching classes early next year. Alongside this, we are also launching a program that will consistently run alongside our classes, which is a teacher development program. We believe high quality instruction is its own skill that needs independent training, and we believe that high quality instruction is absolutely necessary to ensure a safe and enriching classroom environment. We posted briefly about this on social media and based on the initial response, wanted to provide a bit more detail and answer some common questions that came up!

If you just want to apply – check out the form here (and remember it is free!): https://forms.gle/WSnygbJPqbRFcVsQ8
Note that submissions will remain open perpetually, the deadline to be considered for the first cohort is Monday October 10th.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much does this cost? This development program is free. Highwire Improv is paying for the online course materials, in-person venue, and breakfast and lunch during the in-person intensive. While we cannot guarantee this, we aim to provide travel stipends in future cohorts.
  2. Can I participate even if I don’t live in Baltimore? Yes! Also, you do not have to plan on teaching for Highwire Improv to participate – this program is meant to develop the improv community as a whole.
  3. Will there be an online-only version of this training? Yes – based on the applications and interest we’ve received so far, there is enough demand for a fully online delivery of this training. We’ll aim to schedule this in the first half of 2023.
  4. Will this program be useful if I’m already an improv coach or teacher? Maybe! We think that the online inclusion in improv training is highly relevant for any improv instructor, even if you’re well practiced in inclusion techniques. The curriculum intensive may be more specialized to Highwire’s approach to the intro improv level, but we think it’s valuable for anyone. We’ll be publishing more details about our curriculum later this year, which may help you decide.
  5. What level of performance experience is necessary? While we don’t have any strict requirements for this, we recommend at least two years of improv performance experience of any kind.

Details: The Approach

We will bring together prospective improv instructors in small cohorts (6-12 people) to go through training together with the support of existing members of the Highwire Improv teaching community.

Entry into the cohorts will be by simple application, and instructors will not have to pay for this professional development.  Over time, we will work to include stipends for time and travel, but as a baseline we will commit to this training never having a cost.

Cohorts will be provided a private discussion community to share insights, ideas, and support as they go through the training.  Upon completion of the training, they will gain access to the full community of training graduates.

The training program will consist of online/at-your-own-pace reading and video material covering teaching philosophy, and applying diversity, equity, and inclusion practices to improv instruction.  This will be followed by in-person training in Highwire Improv’s core curriculum (Fundamentals 1 and 2) as well as practical applications of the aforementioned DEI practices.

Upon graduation, instructors will be eligible to teach Highwire Improv performance classes and applied improv classes and workshops, but a desire to do so is not a requirement to participate in the training program.

Details: The Content

  • Online Material
  • Weekend Intensive: Highwire Philosophy and Core Curriculum
    • Session 1: Facilitating Safe and Joyful Improv Classes
      • Highwire Improv educational philosophy
      • Creating intentional spaces – names, pronouns, boundaries
      • Facilitating exercises, warmups, scenes, and sets.
      • Improv Fundamentals 1.1, 1.2, 1.3.
    • Session 2: Developing Basic Improv Skills
      • Improv Fundamentals 1.4, 1.5, 1.6
      • Procedures if something goes wrong, including bystander intervention
      • Giving feedback – positive reinforcement
      • Reflections, questions
    • Session 3: Deepening Improv Skills
      • Improv Fundamentals 2.1-2.6
      • Boundaries and Theatrical Intimacy in practice
      • Giving feedback – constructive criticism and adjustments
    • Session 4: Practice and Reflection
      • Adapting exercises
      • Roundtable practice and feedback
      • Facilitating showcases
      • Reflections, questions
      • Class logistics and communications
      • Celebration and graduation!

Apply Now!

Once again, to apply – check out the form here: https://forms.gle/WSnygbJPqbRFcVsQ8 and feel free to email us with any questions at highwireimprov@gmail.com.

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