Teaching can be a super scary task, no matter what subject you may be covering! (I’m pretty sure Maths is the scariest subject ever). Many teachers claim that their first year of teaching is the hardest, and I can only look back on my first year of teaching and agree…
As an itinerant teacher, things were even trickier; as you’re teaching multiple groups of wildly different students in different schools in different areas; what works for one group of students in the city centre may not work for another group of students out in rural areas. Teaching is a learning experience in and of itself: we learn more about ourselves and what does and doesn’t work. However, teaching drama has been amazing for my growth as a teacher and I believe it would be incredibly beneficial for other teachers to try.
For me personally, teaching and applying the different elements of drama has done wonders for my own self-confidence! In a class of 5-12 year old children, I have to be the most confident person in the room and not be afraid to look or sound silly and give 100% in all the things I do. Because if I, the teacher, don’t show that it’s not scary to be on stage, or I myself don’t do the things I ask them to do, how are the students going to feel comfortable enough to try them? Spoiler alert: they’re not!
This could be said for any other teaching subject, but I think with drama you really have to role model the skills you are trying to develop in your students. I’ve realised this year that there are worse things than children thinking I look or act weird, especially since me looking and acting weird makes them laugh and feel like they can give things a go themselves. Besides, that’s a part of who I am and I shouldn’t have to act like it’s not. I love being goofy and silly – life is soooo much more fun that way!
When I started teaching, I felt so unsure of myself and questioned if the students would like me or listen to me or even if I was good enough to be doing this! I found I was sometimes needing to “fake” my confidence. Seriously, I felt like a teenager on my first day of high school!
But when I started teaching for Marrzipan Drama and applied their pedagogy and philosophy, something “clicked” inside me.
Within my first week, I saw a quiet student say their lines loudly for the first time. Within my first month, I witnessed a student who used to hide behind their older sibling take on a bigger role. And numerous students started standing confidently by themselves and acting their heart out!
Then I realised, that I myself wasn’t pretending anymore either! I was confident in my teaching! I could see the results in front of me that I was helping these students, that they were listening and I was good enough to do this. I am good enough to do this! I realised I wasn’t pretending to be confident anymore, I just was.
And that stretched over into my day-to-day life as well (woohoo!) – I’ve become so much more sure of myself and the things I do. I truly don’t know if I would have gotten to that place without teaching drama. I can’t wait to apply all my Marrzipan Drama knowledge to my “mainstream” curriculum classes in the future. Maybe with a bit more drama, I can even make maths more fun (for me and the students!)
It was something that was totally unexpected for me when I stepped into this role with Marrzipan, yet now it seems so obvious that teaching drama is so helpful for a teacher’s own growth. I’ve learnt so much just by letting go and trusting in myself as a teacher, and I never would have gotten there without Marrzipan and the way that this program teaches confidence to children (and, apparently, its teachers too!) So much so that I feel drama should be compulsory in schools for the students and teachers!
To other teachers: if you can, give teaching drama a go! It will change your life and your career!
Marrzipan offers Professional Development throughout the year to help teachers of all classes and backgrounds grow from the skills utilised and honed in drama. Get in touch to book in a session for yourself or your school.