I’m going about a year back to my entry, 1% Perspiration from March of last year. In a brief recap, I was coming to the realization that teaching English literature was more likely to be my calling than teaching music. After a bit of research and soul-searching, and after a particularly difficult year trying to teach music to Muslim students whose parents informed me days before a concert that ‘there was no way my kid is singing in front of people,’ like it was a dirty thing, I signed up to take the English GACE. I spent the next couple of months reading short stories and then a few weeks before the test studying my face off, missing time at the pool with my husband and kids, locked up on the third floor of our house relearning vocabulary and names of American authors.
I passed the test with flying colors. And in October, I applied for a Humanities (English and Social Studies) position and then waited.
Eventually, I had a really great interview.
And then I found a really awesome professional development experience for drama. It’s called the Broadway Teachers Workshop and for all the amazing workshop opportunities available during these three days in New York, the thing that excited me the most was the four Broadway shows that come with your registration. I will get to see Zach Braff in ‘Bullets Over Broadway,’ Idina Menzel in ‘If/Then,’ Rocky the Musical (not as excited about this one), and then one more that could be ‘Cabaret’ starring the amazing Alan Cumming.
My excitement made me realize something else… I love reading, I love writing. But if I was going to stop teaching and if I wasn’t a world-famous author of J.K. Rowling status and still had to work, there are two things I would want to do (this is in a perfect world, mind you): direct and take pictures. I love theatre. I love musicals. I love directing kids who love being in plays. I love everything about productions and only wish I knew more so I could be a better teacher, a better director.
I am struggling a bit with the conservative nature of my school and the realities of what theatre is. It is hard to find appropriate plays with a list of ‘things we should not talk about’ a mile and a half long. We are also a gender-segregated school, which makes my job even more challenging. But the challenges provided by my surroundings is opening my eyes to new plays and amazing new playwrights that I’ve never heard of or considered in the past. It’s forcing me to grow as an educator and I’m appreciative. Frustrated but appreciative.
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t LOVE to get into a school with a proper theatre and a population of students who just want to sing their hearts out and do a little grapevine and box-step now and again.
In reading my post from last year, I realize that I felt really lost. I had lost faith in my own abilities and felt that the only way to move forward was to quit something that I was good at and try something new. This year has been much, much better. I know that I’m a good music teacher- I’ve just set my expectations… differently. Not lower, not higher, just different. And I know that I’m a good drama teacher and that my love for literature and my desire to boss people around can only serve to make me a better drama teacher. This may be the way to go… at least until J.K. comes asking me for writing advice.