Recently, I posted information from a teaching journal about what makes a good teacher? A few days ago I attended an in-house professional learning session with Melbourne Salesian priest Fr. Mick Court. As part of his session with staff at my school, each of us were asked to jot down our favourite teacher from our own school days and list some of the characteristics this teacher possessed that appealed to us. Responses were then accepted from everyone and compiled into a list. I jotted them down so I could blog them here in case you’re interested. When you read them, think about the qualities of a good Drama/Theatre teacher.
I list them in no particular order:
- personal connection
- willingness to journey
- wanted to be there
- a listener
- intellectually stimulating
- good knowledge of subject
- one who believes in the student
- love of subject
I was humbled myself when my current student-teacher (an ex-student of the school, former Drama Captain and one whose younger sister is the current Drama Captain of the College) listed me as her teacher for this exercise. I joked with her that she wrote myself down simply because I was sitting four seats away from her, but she insisted her motives were genuine. When I saw what she listed as my characteristics that appealed to her, I was very pleased to see the one quality I value most in my own teaching was the first she jotted down: passion. This was followed by two others I consider of vital importance – the ability to show interest in students beyond the subject and beyond the classroom, and knowledge of the subject/content. It was surreal. It was like someone had asked me to write down the three qualities I value most in my own teaching, but without conversation, my student teacher had written them all down for me!
The list above, may well be informal, but I do believe these responses are valuable. If we could achieve all of these qualities in our Drama teaching in any given week, much less a single day, then we truly would be wonderful educators….