Ever since I started teaching, I’ve always been involved in helping produce end of year shows. They are one of the major highlights of the job for me.
It’s amazing to watch young people you are working with lose their timidity and perform at their absolute maximum to the joy of the watching audience. To ensure this happens, I strive to make sure the show is as polished as possible.
It’s not a prerequisite to be involved though…I just love to get stuck in.
Take my time in Nottingham for example.
First of all, I participated in the talent show at Christmas each year. In 2010, Chris and I performed remarkably well to do headers on the stage, dodging a whiteboard projector in the process and making light of our height difference.
We followed that up memorably with our One Direction crib at Christmas 2011…I genuinely think some children believed – and probably still do – that we were the real 1D when we came charging on to mime “What Makes You Beautiful.”
As my stint in Nottingham came to an end, the production of Cinderella Rockefeller was staged at our school. I was given the choice between a panto dame (ahh) or the evil character who wanted to scupper the happy ending for no other reason than the stereotyped role demanded.
I chose the latter. And it was awesome. Although I did have pneumonia for the two evening performances, collapsed afterwards and missed my final few days of school as a result.
After I left, I took Mrs Meredith’s amazing Lion King script with me to my new school and they performed it brilliantly, even if this time I just directed it rather than participated.
Children played me in two Leavers’ Assemblies – not because I was on an ego trip, just they actually wanted to rip me, including one child playing a broken guitar after every sentence because “that’s what I do.”
We brought the house down with an I’m a Celebrity style Leavers Assembly (the final song was Rule the World which I played to) and a Queen Assembly where my choreography and obsessively loud singing did help inspire them to show-stopping performances. Maybe.
Then, finally, this year, our Y6 production beat off all previous attempts in an hour and a half WW2 epic. The children learned their lines magnificently plus a whole host of songs and, with the help of amazing props courtesy of my highly talented colleague Mrs Musgrave, hugely impressed. Naturally, I couldn’t let this one go without an appearance, so myself and my teaching colleague played villagers and danced like fools to a song about evacuees. Loved it.
Shows are fantastic and memorable experiences for the students, ones that live with them forever as they recall how well they did and those incredible feelings of performing to a high standard.
Apparently, they do exactly the same job for teachers. Who knew.
(Well, for some very daft ones like me anyway.)