Yesterday I was doing my part time day job as a supply teacher in Birmingham and as I walked from my car to the school gates, I was thinking about a conversation I’d had earlier this week in a meeting.
Just to give some background on the meeting, I have recently been lucky enough to get a place on an emerging writer’s development course with the wonderful Writing West Midlands (you can have a nosy here) and the meeting was the first 1:1 of the year.
During our chat, one piece of sound advice the knowledgeable and talented Jonathan Davidson gave me was to explore other art forms, and as I was walking towards the school yesterday, reflecting on the meeting, I thought ‘Drama. Maybe I’ll sign up to a class and give it a go.’ And then just as quickly as it came, the thought drifted away and I got on with my day.
A few minutes later, once inside the classroom, I read a note that the class teacher had left for me and saw that the first session of the day was to be an author visit for the children in the hall. Great, I thought, a chance to witness someone doing something I aspire to do, an hour of fun for the kids and most importantly, no marking! Yipee!
The authors (the two Steves) were great fun and began a captivating and interactive workshop for the kids. About halfway through, they asked for volunteers to come up and act out a section of one of their books. Nearly all of the 120 hands shot up and 8 lucky children were chosen to don dog masks and re-enact a chapter of the story.
And then came the part when the two Steves chose an adult. Or rather they got the kids to cheer for the teacher they wanted up and acting.
There were about 10 teachers dotted on the side-lines and as one of the Steves pointed to each teacher, the cheering got louder. As he got about halfway around, I mentally noted that I would be the last to be cheered for and it was at this point that I realised I may well be in line for some drama quicker than I thought.
And I was!
Steve pointed to me, the children cheered with all their might and within seconds the other Steve had put a dog mask on my face and I was thrown into the role of Foo Foo the chihuahua, with an atrocious Mexican accent to boot! And behind the mask I was smiling because there it was, a sign from the universe that exploring other art forms was a good idea, and just as importantly, a nudge to remind me that when opportunities to have fun and make a fool of yourself come your way, the only thing to do is to stand up and say yes!
P.S. In case you’re wondering what happened to Foo Foo (even I didn’t find out!), Click here for a link to the two Steves website where you can find out more about their ‘Action Dogs’ series.