Friday, October 11, 2019

Teaching Drama is "Heart" Work

Written by Charlotte Tervit, Vice Principal – Helen O’Grady Drama Academy Pretoria

This is by far one of my favourite little sayings about Drama Teachers. I will tell anyone who wants to listen (and even people who don’t) how much I love my job! I sometimes just stop and appreciate the moment when I am hopping around like a frog in a Kindy class, or pulling my face like a clown during speech exercises and remind myself that I’m not sitting behind a computer in a stuffy office. Life is good!
To be any teacher is, in my opinion, a calling and not something you decide to be based on economics or status or perks, but truly because you are following your heart. Being a Drama Teacher takes it one step further- it has to be your passion in life. It is like teaching a group of children who are on a sugar rush whilst you are doing aerobics, being the class clown and the responsible adult all at once. You definitely need to be able to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously.

But most of all you need to understand what you are to the students. Your drama class becomes their safe place, the place they can truly be who they are and want to be and express themselves with far fewer limitations than the rest of society impose on them. It’s a sense of freedom and homecoming for them all at once.  And once this is what you are to them, the reward in love, trust and appreciation that they give you is overwhelming. And it is at this point that you realise teaching Drama is Heart work, because not only do you have to teach from your heart, but your heart is filled to the brim with their love in return.

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