Meet the Teacher: Ms. Capote

Ms. Capote crocheting a new cardigan during the interview.
Ms. Capote crocheting a new cardigan during the interview.
Gabrielle O

Ms. Capote is new to Santaluces, starting her second year of teaching as our new Theater teacher! She is excited to be part of our school staff and thoroughly enjoys both the students and staff here. I had the pleasure of interviewing her and asking about her life and passions. 

She explains that she didn’t have any theater experience in high school, but did have an interest in creative writing and the arts. Her experience comes from film school; she drifted toward the physical and technical aspects of the field. After eventually getting her bachelor’s from film school in fine arts with a focus on technical theater and design, she was able to get hands-on experience by being a part of theater productions and then later transitioned to teaching. 

One thing that surprised her about her current career is that she originally had teaching as a post-retirement plan. She expands on this herself: “[I] saw myself moving to a different state and participating in different theaters in that area. I also saw myself going with traveling shows but when the world stopped [it just fell through]. It’s wild that [me teaching just] kind of happened.” Similar to the plans of many young adults, when COVID-19 hit the world their plans changed drastically, causing them to make adjustments they never thought would happen. Thankfully though, Ms. Capote is very happy about how these plans worked out. 

One thing Ms. Capote would like for you to know about her is her creative side. She describes herself as a crafter– she said so while crocheting a cardigan throughout the interview. I was told and shown in real-time how cardigans are made! Alongside crochet, she enjoys painting, gardening, and writing. “I’ve always been … interested in arts and different activities and hobbies … I love keeping myself entertained; I don’t like being idle.”  

She mentioned that she likes her mentor: Ms. Agaoglu, our Choral Director. Her response was a testament to how happy she is here at Santaluces. She details how communicative and helpful her mentor is, genuinely caring about her future as an educator and being personable. “Ms. A has experience in this field and she knows the do’s and don’ts of an arts program in public school.” Ms. Capote is a person who loves expanding knowledge and loves sharing it with others. 

It comes out in her teaching style. I asked if she believes teaching to be a career where one learns on the job. She agreed wholeheartedly: “I never want to [give off] the impression that I know everything because I don’t. In general, we need to be lifelong learners.” She enjoys teaching high school students because of the level of interaction available. She loves the back-and-forth of providing her students with information because they expand on it based on individual perspectives. She believes that teaching at this level allows her and her students to learn from one another, which she also will implement more now that she’s entering her second year of teaching. 

She outlined for me just how stark of a difference her teaching style will be this year, not drawing as harsh of a line between the multifacetedness of theater, instead letting it match the actual ebb and flow of theater. This year instead of just technical theater and acting there are four main components: acting, stagecraft, creative writing, and theater history. She believes that having things fresh will keep students engaged and energetic, which is an essential part of theater; some students are more interested or comfortable with certain sides of the theater, so by creating a unique curriculum she can adapt: “The benefit is to leave the class well rounded. My goal is for people to … have these skills in everyday life. [I want them to] leave with a better, well-rounded way of self-reflection.” This philosophy greatly shows her dedication to both her students and her career. 

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