Where do we find the time?

In the two years now I have been teaching one thing comes up time and time again. How do we find the time?

Something they don’t tell you when you begin teaching is not only do you think and talk about teaching all the time, it also comes home with you, the mountains of paperwork and making and general learning. You will have to take it all with you, you’re expected to. You are going to have to make the time for home life, find a hobby that makes you have an hour to yourself, do a cooking class with your partner. I know it seems crazy, when the title of this blog is Where do we find the time? But just working and coming home and working although it is your dream job, is not good for you. You need time for you.

Last year was a world wind. I was continuously trying to get ahead. I had been given a year placement at a tough school and was given subjects I had never taught before- Art and Media Arts on top of my Drama class- I get they somewhat assume you are amazing at everything if you teach Drama right? haha. Being a Gen Z I had grown up with computers everywhere and knew my way around the basics in Photoshop and Premier Elements. I emerged myself in learning more and more and now I would be happy to teach Media Arts whenever I am asked. The students were so enthusiastic and you would be surprised how much they are capable of. So for a new teacher I advise to roll with the punches! They may surprise you. But it took a lot of time to learn those basics, I did PD’s, I watched Youtube clips, I asked anyone and everyone who knew something about them to get the information I needed to be comfortable to teach it. But as I did this I let something else go. Which was my behaviour management. If you ignore the behaviour it only gets worse. So follow up with it, all the time, that’s what my first year of teaching taught me. It is worth the 10 minutes at lunch time to stop you from hours of annoyance later in the year.

So behaviour management became a vital focus for me and this year I have moved to another new school with another year contract- Take all the contracts you can, they will lead to permanency or so I have been told. This year I went in with a plan, I knew the school’s behaviour management program and I was going to work it to my advantage.

This year has been so rewarding so far and it is Week 10 of Term 2. During this time I ran a three day camp by myself, Open Night and I ran a whole Drama Production- Reflection to come from that. As well as teaching English for two classes and junior drama. I had committed 100 percent. But with my attention being pulled in a million different directions and my focus being on that behaviour management as well, something slipped. For me this was giving feedback to my students, making sure they received that feedback from me to say this is where you need to focus but also you are doing swimmingly in this!

Trying to juggle everything has made me think, does anyone have this balance? Or is it something we are going to continuously try to get right? But as a new teacher finding some balance is important.

My tips for a new teacher:

  1. Make time for yourself. Set a work-free time whether you say ok when I get home I will not do any work for 2 hours while I make dinner with my partner or cat. Or 3 times a week I will have 2 hours or time when I go to this class or watch this program. Something just for you.
  2. You wont be perfect, not straight away and maybe ever- that’s something I am still learning.
  3. BE ORGANISED! Organise for a semester and it will cut your workload in half.
  4. Roll with the punches! Not everything will go as you want it to, whether it is in the classroom or just with getting a position in the first place.
  5. Talk to everyone! They may have information you might need later in your career.

Playing the waiting game…

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Being patient can be hard, and in teaching I have found that patience is a true skill to have. Students can push you to the brink of no existence, they are teenagers we have all been there. But I think this is a skill in teaching I have developed and was very much documented in my prac placement reports.

But! Waiting to know what happens when you have completed all your units, got your qualification and waiting for a position can be extremely tough!! Not knowing what is coming next is hard especially when you are a forward planner like most teachers are.

I have definitely struggled with this over this summer and it is only December! It hasn’t even begun. As I was going a little stir crazy I meet up with a mentor and a dear friend to me. She gave me some advice I would give all graduates, she said to me that you have something truly special to give to a community and good things come to those who wait.

It is hard but if we wait, good things will come.. So I continue to wait and develop my patience skills.. If you’re struggling with something similar I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment

Teachers Toolkit

 

 

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As I come to a close of my final placement, hopefully graduating at the end of the year I feel as though my teacher toolkit is similar to this picture. So big that it falls off my shoulders as I carry it to class, so big that I will forget what is in the bag. That the responsibilities of a teacher are huge! I will continuously will be taking them with me where ever I go, into the classroom, down the hall, in the car park, in the super market to my house. I find myself thinking about teaching all the time, talking about teaching until I am blue in the face. I think it is a good thing- although my family may disagree!

Teaching is such a special career to embark on. As I reflect on my practice I wonder if I have done enough? Should I have paid more attention to those university professors who stood in front of me reminding us constantly what an amazing journey we will have, and how they have little insights and ideas that will help us on our way?

I have come to the realisation, that I do not have all the answers, I don’t, and although I would like to know everything, I never will. But if I have the passion to continue keep reaching for the knowledge and finding interesting ways to express it and teach it to my students. I might do ok.

How do I become the ‘right’ drama teacher?

Have you ever wanted something so much you feel like you could have burst?

For the past four years I have wanted to be a teacher. Going from class to class imagining myself in the role I became attached the type of teacher I wanted to become. I found myself changing to ‘fit’ to a cliché image of a Drama teacher. As I sit at the end of my degree with a semester to go I look back on my journey and wonder if this is right?

Sometimes in theatre you become a character, and from my experience in the theatre I have been a mad woman, a mum lost in her way and a supressed lesbian, and I wonder if I can be the drama teacher I want to be.

Drama is very much a subject that a student chooses to be in for a reason. It could be to allow their dramatic side shine, to try something different, because their friends are doing it or to increase their self-confidence. So there are many types of students to cater to and take on this journey.

I wonder how teachers do this? Did they struggle like I am now?

I know as a student and a teacher I will continue to learn, continue to question myself, I hope along the way I feel comfortable in the unfamiliar.