Sitting criss-cross in the middle of the teepee, Chautauqua Children’s School teacher John Denton debriefs the audience on the upcoming egg-hatching operation it is about to endure. Kneeled down like a gargoyle, Denton looks over to the trolls-in-training, the students, and his fellow teachers to deliver the news.
It’s been 12 years since the Children’s School debuted its annual “Troll Play,” in honor of Chautauqua’s birthday and to raise money for Old First Night.
Instead of delving deep into the Amazon rainforest, the Children’s School will tending to their own gardens for this week’s theme at Chautauqua.
“Every Child is an Artist.”
Teamwork is a quality revered by the entire Children’s School staff, but the teachers in the Blue and Yellow rooms are particularly driven by it, thriving on the interwoven nature of the two 5-year-old classes.
Blue Room head teacher Mark Doty has taught at Children’s School for more than 10 years.
“It’s a really interesting group,” Doty said. “It’s not really hierarchical. We all feel like we can do a good job when we’re working together. We don’t really separate out as much as the Blue and Yellow room — we call ourselves ‘blellow,’ and we try to do as many things as possible together.”