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Passionate yet disgruntled: PGCE or carrying on thinking?

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by faceraaa, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I am currently finishing off my M.A by Research: investigating the post marxist notions of Jacques Ranciere's "Axiomatic Equality" and Chantal Mouffe's "Agonistic Pluralism" as alternatives to the framework of performance collaboration.
    I graduated with a first class degree in Drama and was offered the M.A with a 100% fee waiver. I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate degree; from a practical and theoretical point of view. However, by nature I have been quite curious and anayltical. I like to ask questions about things and I was never fully satisfied in just doing something. Thus, this attitude was applied to my third year dissertation where according to University rules I only had to perform in two shows, however I did this as well as a work demonstration which I fully marked on.
    I am not trying to exercise what I am good at, but I think it might give a bit of scope to my questionings. Consequently I was offered the M.A and at the time I was working professionally on a performance at various different theatres in Yorkshire and completeing an internship with a theatre company. The work that I was offered with the theatre compay was initially allowed by the University to be included as my practice. Perfect eh? As they say it certainly was too good to be true and the University turned round after I had agreed to complete the MA and said this arrangement would not be possible. To cut along story short, a cacophony of problems and issues arose where I was juggling work which I loved and was very passionate about i.e making theatre with young people, making performances as part of a group, performing, alongside working twice a week in two different high schools and trying to complete my M.A it had to be extended to a part time degree.

    These last 18months have been very difficult: juggling array of things, however there have been many positives to come to light. I have worked in various setting with young people and also in secondary schools. I always thought I would teach at a later date and probably with snobbery within academia looked at teaching as an "easy option." I do have this nature which is very interested in the interpersonal relations of performance collaboration etc and I love making work and teaching young people. I have taught the Alevel Performance Studies in a school and also, working in various settings with children.

    I feel almost there is a dialectic between the academe which I have heavily been involved with looking at performance collaboration in a very different manner to how drama is perceived and used on the curriculam. However, I love working with young people and creating work.

    I want to do my pgce so I will be in a position and a job where I love what I do, but I am scared it is not what I want to look at; that I will continously question things. It's almost like I have gone so far past the ideas of Stanislavsky that I am worried that they would be difficult to teach again? I really hope this does not come across as big headed. I have lectured within the University and enjoyed, but lecturing positions are so sparce and you normally need a PHD to be considered. I just wondered if anyone else out there had these thoughts?

     
  2. Hi,
    I am currently finishing off my M.A by Research: investigating the post marxist notions of Jacques Ranciere's "Axiomatic Equality" and Chantal Mouffe's "Agonistic Pluralism" as alternatives to the framework of performance collaboration.
    I graduated with a first class degree in Drama and was offered the M.A with a 100% fee waiver. I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate degree; from a practical and theoretical point of view. However, by nature I have been quite curious and anayltical. I like to ask questions about things and I was never fully satisfied in just doing something. Thus, this attitude was applied to my third year dissertation where according to University rules I only had to perform in two shows, however I did this as well as a work demonstration which I fully marked on.
    I am not trying to exercise what I am good at, but I think it might give a bit of scope to my questionings. Consequently I was offered the M.A and at the time I was working professionally on a performance at various different theatres in Yorkshire and completeing an internship with a theatre company. The work that I was offered with the theatre compay was initially allowed by the University to be included as my practice. Perfect eh? As they say it certainly was too good to be true and the University turned round after I had agreed to complete the MA and said this arrangement would not be possible. To cut along story short, a cacophony of problems and issues arose where I was juggling work which I loved and was very passionate about i.e making theatre with young people, making performances as part of a group, performing, alongside working twice a week in two different high schools and trying to complete my M.A it had to be extended to a part time degree.

    These last 18months have been very difficult: juggling array of things, however there have been many positives to come to light. I have worked in various setting with young people and also in secondary schools. I always thought I would teach at a later date and probably with snobbery within academia looked at teaching as an "easy option." I do have this nature which is very interested in the interpersonal relations of performance collaboration etc and I love making work and teaching young people. I have taught the Alevel Performance Studies in a school and also, working in various settings with children.

    I feel almost there is a dialectic between the academe which I have heavily been involved with looking at performance collaboration in a very different manner to how drama is perceived and used on the curriculam. However, I love working with young people and creating work.

    I want to do my pgce so I will be in a position and a job where I love what I do, but I am scared it is not what I want to look at; that I will continously question things. It's almost like I have gone so far past the ideas of Stanislavsky that I am worried that they would be difficult to teach again? I really hope this does not come across as big headed. I have lectured within the University and enjoyed, but lecturing positions are so sparce and you normally need a PHD to be considered. I just wondered if anyone else out there had these thoughts?

     
  3. 'I will continously question things'
    I think that this may be your biggest problem with teaching way beyond the limitations of Brecht and Stan!
    Teaching seems to be more and more about ticking boxes/jumping through hoop and teaching to three point Ofsted lessons and the limitations of exam specifications..not to mention often ridiculous target grades.
    Maybe further education would be better for you -not only in terms of your degree/MA but also in terms of 'questioning'. In secondary education the constant changes and data focus can be very limiting and disheartening.
    However, I love my job and would recommend it <u>but</u> I wonder if a day to day Drama teacher job will be 'enough' for you.
     
  4. Thank you very much for this reply. I appreciate it!
     
  5. It doesn't sound to me that your heart is in teaching in a secondary setting. The difficulty with teaching is that it really isn't the 'easy option' as you may previously have thought and it can be exhausting and disheartening, as said in the previous post, and it does feel frustrating to be dealing with the limitations imposed on you within secondary education. The problem is that you have to get enough out of it which is positive in order to balance these things out, and I think you're right to question whether you would.


    I love teaching A level and mostly GCSE, but I must admit I find KS3 difficult, as I end up feeling a little fed up with teaching at that level. It's not the kids' fault and our schemes are interesting and challenging, but I do end up finding it frustrating. I wonder whether you might too? I also think you have to consider the fact that, while you might have a really highly motivated A level group, you may also have a Year 9 class who are really not motivated by drama, really not interested and you have to go all out to find ways to keep them engaged in the subject (see lots of recent posts on the topic) and this can be pretty demotivating at times. You talk about going back to Stan and Brecht, but don't forget that you'd be teaching way below this level as well - Y7 work is of a very different nature!


    I don't want to paint a really negative picture as it's a job I mostly enjoy. However, it isn't for everyone and I do wonder, from the sound of your post, whether it would be something you'd enjoy. Have you spent any time observing in a secondary school? Going in and doing workshops will have given you a feel for whether you enjoy working with that age, but perhaps not a true reflection of what the job is actually like. It may be worth doing this for a week or so and seeing what the real picture is and whether it's something you'd want to do.


    I hope whatever you choose works out for you. Teaching isn't for everyone and you're definitely doing the right thing in being sure it's right for you before jumping in. Best wishes.
     

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