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Losing my energy and passion for teaching Drama

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by Henry8th, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. I started what I thought would be an exciting and fulfilling promotion as a Head of Drama in a school just over a year ago. I have found the school challenging but more than that I have found the administrative side of being a HOD very taxing on my sanity. I have less time for planning and thinking about my lessons and am finding teaching (especially at KS3) more and more draining. I am losing my energy and passion that before when I wasn't a HOD I had in abundance.
    I am fed up of buzz words and acronyms and all the paper work expected of a HOD and it is not why I got into teaching at all. Does anyone else find that aministrative tasks have taken away something from them and how do you deal with it? I am really not enjoying my job at the moment but know that unfortunately reverting back to a just simply teaching (not HOD) will be difficult because now I am too experienced and more expensive to employ. I really am in a pickle am even considering giving up teaching all together.
     
  2. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Could you take a pay cut?
     
  3. It's really really tough! I've never known it as bad as it is right now. My bad results have meant I've spent the last few weeks concentrating on new syllabuses, analysing the awful results for the exam meeting with my Head, trying to think of constructive things for action points when I've done nothing really bad!
    I really sympathise. I have found this forum to be encouraging in that I'm not the only one having a bad time. I think I'm surviving by having a fantastically supportive staff, and the enthusiasm of the kids. And wine.
     
  4. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Post 3 - Are you doing GCSE?
     
  5. GCSE and A Level this year with EdExcel. We're starting Year 10 and 12 with AQA.
     
  6. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    To poppycarew:
    Have you considered switching to BTEC drama?*
    It's possible that you may find this easier to manage.

    *It's actually called Performing Arts (acting) for some reason.
     
  7. Probably because there are also Performing Arts (Music), Performing Arts (Dance) and Performing Arts (Performance) as well.
     
  8. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    That would make sense, but the music qualification is called BTEC music (there is a "Performing Arts (music)" qualification too but it's different).
     
  9. I'll look into it, Mr Bronson. How does BTEC work for students going onto A Level?
     
  10. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Are you asking if they'll be accepted by the college for A level? If so I can only really speak for our local colleges and say that they all accept out BTEC pupils. This may vary around the country though. BTEC is not new though - it has been around for 25 years or so.
    Perhaps you could find out if any schools in your LA are running the BTEC course. You could then speak to the teachers about the success of their pupils going on to A level. You could also ask for some CPD time to visit one of these schools to see the course in action and meet the teacher.
     
  11. I think the problem for me as a new HOD is that I am a great Drama practitioner and educator (from Obs and OFSTED) but all the admin and extra work as a HOD is getting in the way of me staying a great teacher.
    I would gladly take a pay cut if it wasn't too steep (as I have a wife and two children under two eeek) and go back to being a teacher not a HOD but I think due to my experience and time in teaching there would be few institutions willing to take me on. I spoke to a another HOD friend of mine who openly admitted he would rather have an NQT he could train as a new teacher in his department than an experienced teacher who may be set in their ways and may even have (God Forbid) better ideas, SOW than him.
    I know this is a depressing thread and for that I apologise it's just work shouldn't make you sad and at the moment it does. Before even when I had a tough day it just motivated me to try and better myself. Now I begining to not care and I really don't want to become one of those teachers (Every school has them) who just sits in the staff room and moans about everything from the kids to management etc.
     
  12. Henry8th
    Don't give up ... please ... our subject and our students deserve passionate / good drama teachers - we know the power of our subject, we know why it deserves it's place on the curriculum.
    Take yourself away from the paperwork - talk to your line manager - find the shortcuts in the admin, there are many, and take yourself back to what you love doing .... being in the classroom - that's why we are there.
    Lead from the front - in the classroom.
    Is the paperwork directly affecting the students and their progress - no? Then don't do it.
    x
     
  13. My sympathies. I teach overseas. I have moved country, gone from Head to chalky, taken a 50% pay cut and am trying to relax. Like you I felt I was a great teacher but appalled at all the 'initiatives.'
    GCSE. I looked at edexcel and dumped it years ago. It is awful. Over the top in all areas. What is much more friendly is IGCSE Drama Cambridge. Now there must be a GCSE equivalent.
    And I do IB which allows YOU to teach what you want as long as you work towards the assessments.

    I am sorry. Some of my experience is not relevant to you. But I am trying to suggest that there are always alternatives. Keep em coming.
     
  14. Henry 8th
    I understand cos I'm going through the same thing. 2 sets of awful results from Edexcel this year (GCSE and A level) mean that I have no confidence in myself and not sure I can teach anymore.According to Edexcel, It seems like I totally screwed up last year and think it was because of the amount of pressure I was under. I don't think I can carry on like this - today I had to tell my year 12s that their remoderated GCSE work had stayed the same and marks hadn't gone up. They were so disappointed and I feel so incompetent and useless. I have never had such bad marks before and can't work out why we have been so penalised for GCSE and A Level unit 2.
    Poppy Carew sounds like the same thing happened to you at GCSE- paper 1 moderated down viciously as they said too much emphasis on the 'performance' side of things . Am so depressed. Please can someone post something to make me feel better?
     
  15. I'll try cherrypip! :) I think that we all have been where you are and the people who are lucky so far will be at some point. (I do think that some people are a little naive/insensitive when they post about their amazing results on results days.) In the last 7 years I've had amazing results and not so amazing results. This year's were disappointing at GCSE and AS and fantastic at A2. Same board, same teacher (me!!), same schemes, similar kids... It's the sort of subject we teach, sadly, that leaves so much open to interpretation. I know I've had a GCSE examiner who was pretty generous and I dropped lucky and I also know that this year's was unbelievably harsh. I've been in the same position as you, telling my AS kids that their GCSE Paper 2s weren't moved and they ask me why theirs were lower than the year before's class' and I don't have an answser. I feel really anxious about AS this year and ensuring that those who deserve As get As and those re-sitting Unit 2 are able to significantly improve their marks. It is hit and miss, no matter what anyone says, and disheartening and I don't know what the solution is. But keep going! Keep seeking advice from the board, keep going on courses and cover yourself as much as possible! And remember you're not the only one!!!
     
  16. thanks so much.... glad to know its not just me.........
    that really helps
    its just that awful sick feeling you have when you think about how crushed the students are...


     
  17. I know. It's really horrible! Are you in a single person department? Do you have any schools nearby you could team up with a bit?
     
  18. I am a Head of Dept and an experienced teacher so should not have got it so wrong. I have another drama teacher but rarely see her and as she teaches KS3 drama and english and we are a multi site school. I struggled last year with the pressures of school show, trips, workshops, teaching and paperwork (like we all do!) I worked so hard with both gcse and a level students and came in in the holidays to work with them, and put in extra sessions.
    I have friends in other schools but none nearby. My management have been really supportive so that's one positive thing. They know that I do loads and I've always had fab results before.I need to front it out and hopefully the students will begin to trust me again.
    thanks for your support it means a lot x
     
  19. Remoderated down?! That's a nightmare. I'm sorry to hear that, Poppy! :( Was that your Unit 2s? Will it affect their overall grades much?

    Loss of confidence is the worst bit. I can completely relate!
     
  20. It doesn't make me feel better, it's such a horrible state to be in, and I'm sorry it's happened to you too. As an examiner for GCSE, Unit 3, I'm going to the annual EdExcel standardising meeting this weekend. I used to enjoy the day, but I'm so embittered and knocked back by the treatment by the Board, I'm dreading it. I feel like a kid at the back of the class who knows they're no good, so I'll either sit there and sulk, or kick off!
    Thanks for your comments, it is a bit reassuring, sometimes you think it's just you!
     

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