Monday, 23 March 2009
Now coming close to Easter I feel much more confident with the way that our workshops have panned out. It has given myself and those who have participated in them an opportunity to get experience of teaching, allowing their own confidence to grow and adapt to any situation.
So what makes a good teacher unfortunately I can't give that answer, however I can take idea's from people who have had many more years of teaching experience and be inspired to use drama practitioner's theories to explore the notion of successful teaching. Dorothy Heathcote's method of teaching was to show empathy towards the children, putting the children in your shoes and vice versa. I can really relate to that when teaching children you need to empathise with them and understand what it is like being taught and also give them a chance to in effect teach you. So both roles of teacher and child are being shared. I agree with the principle however it doesn't always work in all situations. A level of discipline needs to be met as well. There needs to be a level of understanding the barriers that both parties need to agree on in order to provide a shared learning experience, so for example a child can't behave out of line and a teacher can't push the boundaries expecting too much. I have also started reading Augusto Boal's 'Games for Actors and Non-actors', this book has given me ideas to use in any difficult situation. I have also adapted some of those ideas in my own unique way to use effectively. For example in one of the schools that we were organising a workshop in, the school had a set way of dealing with noise. It was based on a repetitive clapping rhythm that got the classes attention and for the children to join in regaining their attention back to the teacher. We used this method of control in our workshop however the person leading the workshop wasn't getting the class's attention so instinctively I raised my voice and with retrospect played "Simon Say's" or "Follow the Teacher" as i like to call it. I would shout out commands, like hands on head, and the children would follow. Once I had all the classes attention of copying my movements I gave the leader of the workshop back the control of having all of the children's attention. I would not of had the confidence to do this action at the beginning of the workshops but now my awareness of situations has grown including my confidence and quick thinking, of being able to handle any situation thrown at me. The more experience of teaching an individual receives the better an individual will become at it, I also maintain that you have to work hard at teaching and to find a really good teacher is someone who inspires their pupils. I also agree that teaching isn't for everybody.