Posted by John Naples-Campbell on 2nd October 2007
Well the S1 are coming to the end of their first unit in Drama. ‘Self-Control and Making it real’ is, for me, the most important unit in every drama course.
This is the unit that builds the stepping stones to not only creating a realistic piece of theatre but the confidence and skills needed in everyday life; skills such as communication, focus, concentration, team work and the ability to trust one another. It is funny at how many people think Drama is an ‘easy’ subject. It is always interesting to see people’s reactions (teachers included) when you say you’re a Teacher of Drama… the looks of ‘oh one of those’ or ‘don’t mind them… they’re from Glasgow’ comes across their face or over their eyes as they sip their coffee and I take a drink of my diet coke as I leap in the air and shout FAME! For me it was my Drama Teacher at school, Firrhill High School, that believed in what I was doing and gave me the confidence to not only go on and pursue my passion but also helped me gain my first job at Mothercare world. She taught me skills that I still use to this day. I will never forget my Miss Brodie… Mrs Chetty! When I left Max High I was upset as I knew I had inspired many students and I was so happy when my results came through to see my SG class all achieved credit/general.
Drama has the capacity to engage, discuss, critise, cry, laugh, argue, create and communicate about the world that is going on around us. It can be funny, it can sad, it can meaningful but most of all it can never be wrong!
I was talking to a fellow maths teacher today… I mentioned that in my previous school we had a lot of pre-level A students to which she replied ‘oh that’s ok for drama?’. I wonder what she meant by that, I’m still trying to figure it out. I wonder if she would still say it if she knew that the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Medicine would like each student to have Higher Drama as one of their subjects.
In this unit my students have been statues, created a hospital disaster, been on holiday, robbed a house, found a robber in a house, created to music and learned valuable life long skills… whilst all the time keeping it real and applying self-control phew… all that in six weeks… and never once have we shouted FAME or been trees… Rock on!