This is my fifth year at CKWA. Currently, I am teaching Drama in secondary. Additionally, I am the Secondary International Coordinator, in charge of Teaching and Learning. On nights and weekends, I work with the School’s Arts Academy, offering different drama experiences to students from primary and secondary. Before coming to Beijing, I taught English for 11 years in Colombia and Spanish for 7 in the US.
I am working on two new productions at the moment; Madagascar Jr with our upper primary students in the Arts Academy and Fame in secondary. More challenging and exciting, though is the work I am doing with fellow teachers, as coordinator, to prepare our students to succeed in the real world.
Before teaching, and early in my career, I wanted to be a rock star. In fact, I had a band and thought it would take off and it almost did. During the day I focused on teaching; nights, weekends and summer vacations were all about music. However, that got old, I got old, but teaching never does. Teaching allows me to do something different every day. It allows me to make a difference in the lives of the children I work with. It is never easy, but it’s always worth it.
Does Peppa Pig count? Actually, I watched two seasons of Designated Survivor this summer on Netflix. Even though it is fiction, it gave me a unique perspective on the challenges government leaders face every day.
Last year over 50 students auditioned for Into the Woods, a show with a limited cast and demanding singing ability. Fortunately, we were able to use some of the students who didn’t make the cast to help with lights and sound. One student in grade 6 took over the lighting board as if it belonged to her. She took notes, made suggestions, waited patiently for direction, and came to extra rehearsals to get it right. Now, she is my go-to person when I need lighting.
On my own, I love the feeling of being alone in the theatre at CKWA; it is a magical space where I have collaborated with so many other teachers and students. Sitting there fills me with inspiration.