How We’re Celebrating Shakespeare 400

Shakespeare

This year marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death. A huge cultural initiative has been running for the past year in all parts of the world to remind people of and to celebrate the significance of this great man’s work. I thought it was important that we do something at school to acknowledge this also. As with the many ideas I have they get big and out of hand and I really need to scale them back.

This year I found a simple way to celebrate all these fabulous works that I thought I would share with you. Perhaps you might like to do something similar or share your ideas/celebrations in the comments.

We started with a short speech at assembly and I showed a really lovely 6 minute clip from the National Theatre about their performances of Shakespeare over the years. It was probably slightly better suited to the senior kids than the juniors but I still think it captured the essence and beauty of his works.

At the assembly I asked for anyone who would like to present a short scene, monologue or duologue as part of the ongoing celebrations. We have our assemblies fortnightly so afterwards I fielded a few offers to present and I lined up a short five minute item for each fortnightly assembly. It is quite reliant on the kids doing most of the development but they do have to show me their ideas/performance prior to presenting it at assembly. So far we’ve got a sonnet reading and a monologue from Julius Caesar. We only have about 4-5 assemblies a term so hopefully I’ll get a couple more before the end. If not, I’m glad that I got a couple with which to continue the celebrations.

How are you celebrating? Share them in the comments below. 

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog. I always like to share this with my readers so as to thank you for your readership throughout 2015. I’d also like to wish you a happy, healthy and safe 2016. I look forward to your continued readership this year.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 810,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 35 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy World Teachers’ Day!

World Teachers' Day

It’s October 5th here in Australia so I’m getting in early and wishing you:

HAPPY WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY!

Thank you for all that you do each and every day in the classroom.

The kids we teach are very lucky.

Happy World Theatre Day!

Wherever you are in the world I hope you and your class are celebrating.

Please share your celebrations with us at http://worldtheatreday.info

Our school decided to make a video in response to the question, “What does theatre mean to you?”

This is what our staff and students had to say. We would love for you to take a look.

Enjoy your day.

Help Us Celebrate World Theatre Day

You may or may not know that March 27th is World Theatre Day.

It’s pretty exciting to know that theatre gets its own day of recognition alongside talking like a pirate and pancakes.

You also may or may not know that back in 2013 my Twitter pal @edtech4theatre and I started the World’s Biggest Theatre Ensemble through our first World Theatre Day celebration. You can read about it here and here.

Suffice to say, we’re keen to revive and expand it and we need you to help us.

We recently spoke on TheatreCast about the upcoming day and how you can get involved. We’ve also set up a website which you can check out here.

All we’re really keen to do is have teachers celebrate the day in any way they can – big or small. Maybe you just organise a special lesson with your class. Maybe you present something at a school assembly.  Send it to us and we’ll share it on our webpage. We’re adding information to the website so if you need ideas, permission notes to allow your students to be photographed and used in the public domain you can access it all here at the site. If you want to co-ordinate a gathering of drama teachers go ahead and do it.

Either way we just want to spread the word that teachers all over the world are doing awesome stuff in their classroom every day and we want people to see it, share it and be proud of it. Let’s spread the message that the arts matter.

Please share this post with your colleagues via your school email system, share it on your personal social media pages. Let’s just spread the message of #theatrelove.

Stay tuned to this blog or the World Theatre Day website for updates. Hope to share your WTD fun on March 27th.

Image Credit: www.breaksincornwall.com

Helen Mirren Thanks Her Teacher

Yesterday, Helen Mirren received BAFTA’s annual Fellowship Prize. In her acceptance speech she said,

“My journey to this place began with a great teacher, Alice Welding, who died just two weeks ago at age 102. She alone was the person who encouraged me to become an actor. And I’d like to thank all those teachers now.

For a mid-week dose of inspiration, watch this fabulous actress share her thoughts on teachers.

Start Your Term with Awesome

December 2013 020

A colleague of mine got me on to this Ted Talk at the end of last year.

I was looking for something to show my Year 12 cohort. I had been their Year Adviser since Year 7 and made the agonising decision to accept a transfer position at a new school meaning I wouldn’t be with them in their last three terms of Year 12.

If you ever have the opportunity to become a Year Adviser I highly, highly recommend it. It changed my outlook on teaching and aside from my love of Drama teaching, it is the other part of education I am extremely passionate about: student well-being and welfare.

It has been difficult for me to write about this transition phase in my teaching career so I simply haven’t. In the last few years, being a Year Adviser to this group of students became very significant for me personally. Whilst so many factors tell me it is the right time for the change, there is a plethora of other feelings that I still struggle with.

Now on the precipice, preparing to dive into my new school I want to remind myself, but also you, of something I believe very strongly and always share with my students. That they are awesome, that you are awesome and that we should always aim to be awesome.

I think Neil Pasricha sums it up beautifully and I feel so lucky to have been able to share this with my lovely students. If you need a pick me up during the term I highly recommend Neil’s blog 1000 Awesome Things.

Photo Credit: Always Awesome, karlao, December 2013.