They come in all shapes and sizes and different ways of looking at the world but I like teachers. I suppose it’s partly because I’ve always been one myself. I would never have become a teacher without a conversation with one of my teachers when I was at school. He put the idea in my head and used that time honoured phrase “you need something to fall back on” when I was mad keen to be an actor.
“I try to teach in a way that might get me a round of applause at the end”.
I’ve always loved acting and directing but I found teaching brought something different out of me – a zest to inspire. I try to teach in a way that might get me a round of applause at the end. Of course, it doesn’t happen very often but it’s the striving for it that is important. Your attitude to your work is so important to how well you do it.
My first teaching practice was at a primary school and a lovely little 11-year-old girl come up and said she had a present for me on my first day. How kind I thought as she gave me a piece of chocolate wrapped in silver foil. Closer inspection later showed it to be a laxative so it’s a good job I didn’t eat it. It taught me a valuable lesson about pupils – watch out and look lively or they will run rings round you.
When I prepare for a class, I always think of the pupil who isn’t really interested in my subject. I keep them in my mind and check them out as the class proceeds – I want to see if it’s working on them.
“I respect teachers because the best of them work so hard and lead and inspire their classes”.
As it turned out I liked teaching, but I did not like schools particularly so after 14 years I moved on but ever since I have been essentially a teacher in everything I do and there is a huge cross over between the world of the performing arts and teaching. You are in a kind of arena, and you have to be alive to what is happening. I respect teachers because the best of them work so hard and lead and inspire their classes. As we know they can have an enormous impact upon other lives.
We have some fabulous teachers in Theatretrain – dedicated, long standing, creative, funny and I love the way they can draw out what lies inside a pupil. I’m proud of them and the work they do. We couldn’t do anything without them. To move from classwork into show work is a real skill and when I see it done well it never ceases to impress me. Theatretrain teachers I salute you.
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