Sunday, March 25, 2012


sometimes i question my decision to be a teacher. like today, when i realised i'd missed out a lesson plan in my assignment, and needed to write it by midnight tonight. all well and good except that it was based on the only shakespeare play i've not read and devoured; romeo and juliet.

 i've performed monologues from othello, directed a hypothetical production of as you like it, won first place in the shakespeare festival for my portrayal of a witch in macbeth, read the tempest three times, played the angry dad in a midsummer night's dream, read (and loved) his entire collection of sonnets and tutored students through units on the taming of the shrew.  but i've somehow missed out on ever reading his most classic and timeless work. which i now need to teach to a year 8 class. awesome.

but the truth is i love teaching. i live for that moment when you realise a kid is mastering something -and loving it- because of you.

this week i'm particularly proud of one of my precious kidzoners. she's an enthusiastic, affectionate trouble maker who has had one of the hardest childhoods i can image. she's in year 6 but reading at year one level. and she decided she wanted a big, speaking role in our upcoming play.

 i agreed, making a mental list of all the other kids who would be able to fill in for her when she inevitably gave up/couldn't do it. which sounds awful, but i've learned to be practical. how can a kid who can barely read learn pages and pages of lines in just a few weeks?

well, it turns out, she can. because every spare moment she got, she was chasing after me, waving around her copy of the script and begging me to run lines with her. because she highlighted words she couldn't understand and sounded them out over and over. because she took the words she couldn't remember, and drew tiny pictures above them.

like the word hammerhead. she drew a picture of a hammer and a big dot, and now she can even spell the word.

i can't even explain how proud i am of her, or how happy it makes me to see her loving rehearsal. i especially loved when she told her brother "i've learnt all me lines, and i get to be up on the stage, and genna's proud of me" - and turned to give me a big, glowing smile.

the best part? now that she's mastered her own part, she's helping the other kids too.

i hope i can spend the rest of my life witnessing such miracles.

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