I took drama as one of my GCSE choices in school, many many years ago now. It turns out I also received my highest grade overall in it too, I got a B (A± back then being the highest). All my other results were a D and below. My family says it wasn't a surprise and I do have to agree with them.
But have you ever had one of those moments in a school lesson that might have actually changed your life? I will share with you my experience.
About the lesson beforehand
Unfortunately one of our drama lessons was last thing on a Friday right at the end of the week, when if I'm honest, we thought we could all sit back and do nothing. This one particular lesson was something of a 'ignore the teacher screeching at us' type, together with a 'mess around laughing' one, that no learning was done at all. If I can remember correctly, our teacher actually gave up, grabbed her belongings and left the theatre about 15 minutes before the bell rang.
We all knew sitting there waiting quietly with no teacher yet, on our very next drama lesson, that something bad was going to go down. Guilt was all over our faces. All of a sudden the theatre banged open, high heels echoing up the hall, our teacher appeared, her bag went down on the floor and we were ordered to grab our chairs, put them in a circle but facing outwards rather than in and she disappeared.
It was very confusing, turning our chairs away from each other but also, no screaming at us? The anticipation was beyond words. Then some music came on, I had never heard it before, it was classical if I remember it was quite a sad piece of music.
Our teacher came down into the middle of the circle and demanded that no one was to leave the theatre until she saw real tears in people's eyes. There was to be no talking and no looking at others and she would let us know when we could leave. This was a teacher whom we actually respected back then, so how could she force us to cry, wasn't that wrong?
Once one person had done it and left, others followed suit slowly, what on earth would I do if I couldn't cry? My best friend next to me left and I had to think of something sad and quickly. Thoughts turned to my grandad, the quick sad loss of life who would never see me get married, or meet his great grandchildren, I wouldn't be able to share with him all my next experiences in life or even ask him questions no more.
It worked, I was asked to leave and I walked out silently having never ever thought of that moment again.
Until I was older that was. I once explained that particular moment to a colleague and as I was trying to portray the tension I went through, something actually lit up inside me.
I was taking drama for important exams, as a class we had never ever experienced that before and we all at some point might actually be using it for a role in some famous movie or even in a play maybe. Imagine the director asking you to cry instantly as part of your role? and you couldn't. That moment in my drama lesson of which I had never thought about for many years had actually resonated deeply now. It might have intentionally been the correct way of planting the best life lesson in our heads, ever.
Do you think my drama teacher was wrong?
I would love to hear your fondest memories of a special teacher at school
Great post! What a wonderful drama lesson! It’s neat how you later realized she had taught you something valuable. I’m sorry you lost your grandfather so young. I bet he watches after you from above and is super proud!!✨
Thank you so much, some kind words there.
Our teacher was a special one that's for sure
Great story and a skill definitely taken for granted.
Thank you very much Chris and thanks for reading too
The lessons that run deepest come when we're least expecting them to. I love teachers that reach students in interesting ways. We need more of them.
Could not agree more, the ones that create a spark in the classrooms are funny enough the ones students take notes from
This sounds like a great drama lesson! I'm glad it has stayed with you, it was clearly a very important if you are still using the technique now! I was super shy at school and hated drama lessons, but I have always been able to cry on cue! Maybe I should've taken acting lessons? Thanks for sharing.
It was a memorable one, probably more than any others in my pupil life to be honest. Thanks for reading Eve x
What a really interesting lesson to learn; it shows the power of something that connects with us (even unexpectedly). Thanks for sharing this.
Molly | transatlanticnotes.com
Hi, thanks for reading Molly, it certainly didn't resonate until later in life, but it did have the power behind it yes.