Well, it’s a rare moment when a Drama teacher is left almost speechless!
The past few days have brought me great joy as I discovered some of my 2005 Year 12 Drama students received a letter in the mail they were eagerly hoping to receive.
Each year, the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) has a Season of Excellence, showcasing the cream of the crop from the previous academic year’s best works in the visual and performing arts. In the subject of Drama, a select group of students who receive very high grades for their Solo Performance Examination are invited to audition the piece again before a panel to be a part of Top Class. Unfortunately, the majority miss out on a place in the program, as only a few make it through.
To be honest, I was blown away to have three girls in a small class of nine receive invitations to audition for this year’s Top Class. I witnessed a great sense of collegiality amongst the three, as they nervously motivated each other for their auditions, each wishing the other two the best of good fortune and success. As their teacher, I was already immensely proud of them for obtaining high A+s for their performance exam and receiving audition invitations. In the back of my mind, it was fine with me if none of them had got into Top Class. Secretly, I would have been over the moon for one of the three to make it through.
But what was about to follow just blew us all away. All three girls got into Top Class and will perform in two separate programs on the 7th and 22nd April this year. They can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Our friends can’t believe it. I even rang the VCAA to double check it was true! It’s not that I didn’t think the girls were capable of getting in, it’s just that three students in the Top Class program from the same class is uncommon.
I hope no one views this blog as egotistical, because as this blog is about Drama teaching, then I intend to share the good and the bad with you. Sure, I have had students get into Top Class before, but never one-third of my class!
It was only half way through the school year in 2005 when I had already made up my mind that this class was the hardest working group of students I had ever taught. For that, I thanked them with a double pass to the movies each, because I was stunned by their commitment to Drama. From the weakest in the class to the strongest, there were private personal successes happening behind the scenes almost every week of the year. Just quietly, I finished the year saying to my colleagues in the Drama department, that I don’t think I had ever worked harder with a Year 12 Drama class, either.
So this moment has to be one of the proudest in my career and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, it is definitely one of the proudest moments for Georgie, Amelia and Grace, too. Well done girls! I’m proud of you. Your family and friends are proud of you. Your school is proud of you. And most importantly, you should be proud of yourself.
Look out Top Class …… here we come!