One of St. Martin’s greatest strengths is its strong community, a diverse group of individuals with many gifts and talents who celebrate their shared values and commitment to our students and school.
St. Martin’s Director of Performing Arts Meredith Long-Dieth has been teaching theater since 2005. She and her husband, Lower School Head and Assistant Head of School Ford Dieth Jr., are the proud parents of three StM students. Long-Dieth, who isin her sixth yearat St. Martin’s, oversees all theatre productions at St. Martin’s. She has also hosted a very successful and popular Summer Theatre Camp. Long-Dieth was recentlyfeatured in an article on BizNewOrleans.com.
In our Snapshot of a Saint series, we learn more about the individuals who make our community exceptional. Here’s our Q&A with Meredith Long-Dieth:
What are some of the changes to the physical space you’ve had to make to accommodate distance learning and on-campus teaching?I moved my classroom to the lobby of our theater. We have a lot more space to spread out away from each other. I am using small trays as desks because they are light and easy to move. The use of our colorful acting blocks has added warmth and playfulness to the space. They can double as chairs and set pieces. We have a projector, and I use the 180 degree camera to include the distance learners in class. They are able to view and participate in all the activities and the students at school can see them.
Like it or not, we’ve all had to become more flexible since the pandemic. What curriculum modifications have you made and how have those changes enhanced the student learning experience?I am still learning and changing daily. The biggest thing is to give my students a chance to be seen and perform. My online lessons have become more engaging. I have taken webinars on the use of many new platforms and extensions. This has helped me to develop new skills that I am using to serve my students.
What skills are you teaching in your class that could help students become stronger in-person and virtual scholars?I have a long, running list of the benefits of theatre and arts education. This year I have been stressing the importance of problem-solving and listening to each other.
As a parent and as a faculty member, what do you consider to be StM’s strengths in educating students during the pandemic?We give so much personal and one on one attention. We go above and beyond to make sure every child feels good about learning and knows that they are valued. We also have this great ability to tailor needs for each child. StM is unique in its approach to supporting, enriching, nurturing, and/or pushing every student with the idea of placing each child in the most successful situation possible.
What are three words you would use to describe being back on campus? Supported, excited, safe