Today I got kicked out of having senior classes timetabled on the stage of a new theatre. Why? It’s a ‘Lecture’ Theatre, not a Theatre, and it’s everybody’s space to share.
Semantics aside, I don’t care what it’s called and I’m more than happy to share with everyone else on the block, but after three lessons in there at the start of the year, it’s time to go back to a ‘classroom’ that’s ‘small’ enough for about five of my fifteen Year 12 students to learn in.
Don’t see Year 12 Physics in the gym. Can’t see Year 12 Art happening in the school canteen. And last time I checked, Information Technology classes were occurring in computer labs. So why doesn’t Year 12 Drama get timetabled on the stage of a new theatre?
I once met a guy in the early 90s who rocked up to a new school only to find his Year 12 Drama class was timetabled on the school oval! I didn’t believe him, of course.
Until he showed me his timetable. There it was. Clear as day. O V A L
In the past I have subscribed to the fact that the poorer the space, the better the work the students can produce. To a certain extent, I believe this is true. I’m sure there are many Drama teachers out there who have taught in worse spaces than I, producing brilliant work from their students. But when the space is just plainly inadequate and I’m the only one kicking up a fuss, beating my head against a brick wall seems an attractive alternative.
But my school is a winner in so many other areas … the staff … the students … so it’s back to work tomorrow with the best smile I can muster.
I’d be interested to hear your stories about Drama spaces. What’s the worst space you have ever taught in? We might as well enjoy a laugh about it. After today’s proceedings, I could do with a giggle or two.