And the award for best director goes to…

7 05 2013

Oscar

Sadly I will never receive this award.

I have had an incredibly successful day watching the performances of my GCSE Drama students. They were fan-flippin-tastic. I wont lie the run up to today’s exam has been very stressful and I and the kids have been extremely emotional but I cannot express in words how proud I am of each and every one of them and their accomplishments.

Today marks the end of two years of tears and tantrums from the most bizzare group of young people I have ever worked with. They are an odd mix of arrogance and extremely low self esteem. I have battled daily with their performance anxiety, reluctance to take risks, refusal to accept advice and ability to sob uncontrollably when they recieve even the slightest and most sensitive constructive feedback advising them that what they are doing is simply not working.

My life would of course be much simpler if I told all of my students from day 1 that they are amazing and that every word that comes out of their mouth is OSCAR worthy. If I spent my time telling them that they will all undoubtedly achieve an “A” grade irrespective of whether they; bother to show up for rehearsal, make changes to their performance where possible improvements are identified or spell check their coursework – then I would not spend most of the academic year in an ongoing battle. However, as I do actually care about their grades and grow to love my students despite their quirks, we have fallen out regularly. They seem to forget that his does not make me the enemy.

It was incredibly touching today to watch them produce such a high standard of work in their performance unit. At the same time, it was extremely demoralising to realise that as far as they are concerned; for the last two years I have been nothing more than an unwelcome barrier to their progress and the success that they were always bound to achieve because they deserve it!

A number of the parents approached me after the exam. I was standing next to another colleague and they actually thanked and congratulated the wrong teacher. I wouldnt mind but she has NEVER taught them. These parents have met and spoken to me on four consecutive parents evenings and seen me at various evening events organised during the school year. My colleague (who is the most outstanding practitioner I have ever had the privilage to work with) has actually been absent for almost the entire year due to illness! I have clearly made little impact.

It is important not to allow these things to get under your skin. I know I will battle with a different set of kids each and every year I remain in the teaching profession. The parents will not always remember who I am and I know that students who are under considerable stress will forget the hours they spend badgering me on my lunch breaks, or requesting that I stay to rehearse with them after school or give up my bank holidya to open the school for them. They will not always remember to say thank you to the people who helped them to achieve their grades.

But it would nice to think that a few years from now they will look back and think – thank god Miss pushed me, nagged me and helped me through my exam, otherwise I don’t know where I would be now.

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