Preview My New Book
Get your free preview of Teaching Teachers With Theater! here. In it, I share how theater training methods offer valuable concepts for enhancing the educational experience for teachers and students alike.
New Book Available Now!
Now available for purchase from Peter Lang Publishing Group
Teaching Teachers with Theater! — Performance Training & Tactics for Classroom Teachers explores classroom performance challenges faced by K–12 teachers and how the practice of certain theater techniques used to train actors can improve teachers' student engagement and connection. Jim Senti’s work exposes teachers to the activities and training that will help them become more comfortable, connective, and far more exciting and engaging in the classroom. The activities in each chapter vary from how the reader can improve their body language, voice, and physicality to illustrating how developing acute observation can help train a teacher’s empathy and compassion. Teaching Teachers with Theater! also explains how improvisation games help train a teacher’s ability to deal with surprises in the classroom and even includes tips on how to tell a great story. In the end, these practices will help teachers become stronger communicators by teaching them to become more comfortable with performing in order to genuinely connect with their students.
“Jim Senti, a professional actor and academic, teaches courses in communication and acting and naturally connects how the skills of an effective actor are key skills of teachers who engage their students and create dramatic learning environments. Senti’s book is a worthwhile read for any teacher wanting to improve his or her presence. It could also serve as curriculum for administrator and teacher professional development for those who want to work together to improve their ability to engage students and to create effective classroom conversations.”
—Craig Larson • Ed.D.
In Teaching Teachers with Theater!, Jim’s tone, wit, and expertise talk to you. He invites you to reflect, imagine, and step out of your comfort zone; simultaneously, he creates a space where learning and lessons, too, are neither script nor template. He speaks to empathy, respecting the complex world of each student, and honoring the individual learner without preconception or generalization. And, dramatically, Jim transfers those and other guiding principles to teaching which requires practice. What better avenue and venue than the stage—literally and figuratively?”
—Dr. Jere Hochman • Educational Administrator
“In this volume, actor/educator Jim Senti encourages teachers to embrace a performative approach to teaching by focusing on key elements such as acute observation, the creation of an environment of trust, compassion and courage, and what the playwright Anton Chekov called ‘tons and tons of love.’ There are no quick fixes in Senti’s book. The chapters and exercises demand attention and commitment. However, the results will change your students’ lives—and yours!—forever.”
—Louis Fantasia • Director, Shakespeare Teacher Training Institute
Work with Jim
Doing is learning. Based on his book, Teaching Teachers With Theater!, Jim’s half-, one-, or two-day workshops are an enlivening, insightful experience for educators looking to improve student engagement, compassion, and healthy classroom connection practices. Teachers will identify challenges and learn theater practices that offer real-world solutions. Overall, workshops are designed to nurture participants’ most creative selves toward developing their observation and empathy skills.
Book Jim to speak at your next administrator and teaching staff event. His keynotes and break-out session talks energize each group he addresses. Audiences leave empowered to implement powerful observation and empathy practices, improving classroom experiences for students and teachers alike. Drawing from his acting and teaching careers and his Moscow Art Theater School / Harvard actor training (MFA 2009), Jim’s speaking engagements will be the highlight of your school’s training schedule.
Looking for one-on-one or small group guidance? Wanting to address a specific classroom or curriculum issue? Jim’s private coaching engagements begin with an assessment of your challenges followed by a custom-tailored coaching plan to meet your most pressing educational experience concerns. Jim’s coaching schedule currently has some openings, so ensure your access by reaching out today.
“Jim will coach you, and bring out the best actor, learner, and teacher in you. We've known for years that another "sit and get workshop" or the proverbial “sage on the stage” are not means by which we improve educator practice or student learning. Jim knows that, too. Workshop your teaching practice with Jim’s methods, and make the whole classroom your stage.”
—Dr. Jere Hochman, Educational Administrator
Featured Blog Posts
Jim Senti, MFA (Moscow Art Theater School/Harvard 2009), is a lecturer in Acting, Theater, and Performance as well as Public Speaking and Group Communication. He is currently teaching in the Communications Department at California State University, Northridge. He has worked in diverse environments teaching English Composition, Comparative Literature, and Critical Thinking. As a practicing professional artist for over twenty years, Jim has worked as a stage, television, and film actor. He has received multiple national commercial credits, roles on shows such as The Mindy Project, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and helped found award-winning Fugitive Kind Theater Company in Los Angeles, California. As the author of Teaching Teachers With Theater! Jim also facilitates workshops, coaches, and speaks worldwide to help teachers connect and communicate more compassionately and effectively in their classrooms.