Scaring Them Silly

theatreOn Thursday 11th January I headed straight from my SPS (Subject Professional Studies) session in Drama, back to Moulsham High School, in preparation for my first ever school trip as a member of staff. At 5 o’clock myself and four (dare I say ‘other’?) teachers met at the front of the school to see the students onto the coach. After a bit of a delay caused by awkwardly parked cars and tardy year 11s, by 5:30(ish) we were on our way to London with 43 GCSE drama students.

The trip in question was to see the infamously terrifying play The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre in London’s West End. The students have to write about a live performance as part of their GCSE exam and, for the first time, this year’s year 11 cohort were accompanied by the year 10s for this annual night of theatrical terror. Having seen the play twice before, I was able to avoid screaming in front of my students and was instead able to observe them jumping, hiding behind coats, sliding down in their seats and holding onto whomever was nearby, all before the inevitable declaration from at least one student of ‘I wasn’t scared Miss’.

Petrified teens aside, it was a brilliant opportunity to really feel part of the school community and in a way served as a bit of a bonding exercise for all concerned, even if a small but determined group did fail in their mission to convince one of us to take them to Starbucks (other coffee shops, to quote the BBC, are available).

Most importantly of all, the students were able to demonstrate in proceeding lessons that they could remember an impressive amount of the production, particularly when you consider how much must have been viewed their hands over their eyes.

Juliet, Drama trainee teacher, Moulsham High School

 

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Feeling like a proper teacher

With Christmas over, I was really looking forward to getting back into the classroom and seeing all my classes again. I had spent most of the holidays thinking of new activities we could do and preparing ways to boost the year 10’s confidence in time for their speaking and listening assessment. Going back into school, I felt organised, primed and ready to go.

However, on returning, I found that my subject mentor was absent. She and I share her year 10 class and I had been preparing multiple lessons leading up to the recording of their speeches, so I wasn’t panicked. It was quite nice being left ‘alone’ to deal with this class as if I was their regular teacher and I had received great feedback from the cover supervisors who was assigned to the lesson.

The head of department was also enormously supportive even down to giving up her own time to guide me through the assessment process. As parents’ evening was approaching, I went to the Deputy Head Teacher to see if I should do the appointments solo. He said if I felt comfortable then of course.

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So I did.

And I loved it.

It was such a pleasure to meet the parents of some of my favourite students and spread some positivity about their participation in class, their mocks results and my time with them. The whole of the English department came together to prepare me for the evening and I came away feeling like a proper teacher!

I saw the Deputy Head at the end and he asked how the evening went. I rattled on for a while about how much I enjoyed it to which he replied, “you weirdo!”

I suppose the novelty will wear off eventually!

Georgina – English Teacher