More than six years of blogging here on The Drama Teacher and I suddenly realised I have never blogged about parent teacher interviews. As I have just concluded two nights of undertaking this activity, its a good time to start blogging about it.
Personally, I find parent teacher interviews one of the most rewarding aspects of the teaching profession. I think we are blessed in a way, teaching a subject such as drama where many students love our subject with a passion. It certainly makes those interviews a hell of a lot easier, that’s for sure! Here’s a snapshot of just some of the opening lines I’ve had over the past two days of interviews at my current school:
My daughter thinks your (lame dad) jokes are funny, so here we are….!
My daughter loves drama. What the heck IS this subject?
My daughter wants to be an actress. Can you help?
My daughter STILL wants to be an actress!
My daughter speaks strange words aloud in her room at night. Is this drama?
Because your name comes up three times a week in our kitchen, I thought I’d meet you….
My daughter has been transformed (with confidence). What have you done?!
She only speaks about one subject at home…DRAMA…so spill the beans….
If my daughter spent half the time studying for English and Maths as she does for Drama…..
I am fortunate where I teach Years 7-12 Drama, I do not have any behaviour problems or attendance issues with students. I am aware life is not that easy for others elsewhere, so I hope my parent teacher interview experiences are not vastly different to everyone else. We teach such a rich and rewarding subject. I have always believed Drama is one that should comfortably translate into student engagement in the classroom and then mostly positive experiences at parent teacher interviews.
In the early days of a Drama teacher’s career, parent teacher interviews are often daunting, at best. It takes a degree of confidence in your own ability as an educator to comfortably call the shots at interviews with parents of your students and back yourself in tricky situations or justifying grades given etc.
In my 23rd year of teaching high school Drama, I still get a little anxious before parent teacher interviews like teachers with less than half my experience do, but you can’t really go wrong with Drama interviews. I sometimes spend half my interview time explaining what Drama is to parents or simply marketing it, partly to justify a student’s enthusiasm for the subject to her parents. I’d rather be talking about human behaviour, the skills of a student actor, the joy of watching a student on stage in a school show, or the confidence of a shy student performing in class before her peers than numbers, statistics and formulas at a parent teacher interview.