And now we’re singing and dancing!

By Kirstin Buick
24 July 2013

Our teacher blogger talks about the many other duties that teachers get involved with at school. They are so much more than just educators.

Being a teacher is made up of so many facets. That’s why it’s a profession you’ll never find boring. Yes, our major task is to teach the learners about various subjects, but we do so much more . . .

It’s 5 am and I’m quickly writing my blog before tackling a day in the studio with the revue learners. And how we’ve been singing, dancing and practising in the past few days . . . And in between the dance moves are being perfected.

My day job is teaching – and in the first week we’re hard at work with memorandum discussions of the June exam papers, marks and reports – and in a free period we scurry around organising the decor, costumes, gala evening, dress rehearsals, sound and lighting for the revue that has to be ready to hit the boards in three weeks.

And every afternoon we practise until late with various groups.

While I was busy with a rehearsal yesterday afternoon, I got a message to pop into the principal’s office before going home. I knew we’d still be practising for a long time so quickly slipped away.

On the way to the office I was overcome by a warm feeling of pride, because as I walked I could see and hear the various revue groups with their teachers. The playground echoed with the sounds of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Dirty Dancing, Fame, Footloose, The Sound of Music and The Great Gatsby.

I saw a teacher dancing with her group and how much they were enjoying it. A bit further on I saw the rugby teams in their final training sessions for the away games. And then I saw how unbelievably cute it was to have half a rugby team enjoying their Grease dance moves at the front of the stage.

I realised how beautiful our school’s learners are and how the teachers work much longer than their compulsory hours, enjoying every second with their charges and sacrificing their free time for the sake of the school.

Teachers are so much more than experts in their subjects. At this stage we’re choreographers, set builders, graphic designers of programmes and tickets, caterers for the gala evening and sound and lighting technicians . . . And we enjoy every minute of it.

But in between we also have to offer comfort when a school relationship breaks up, or play doctor when a child faints, as well as trying to understand and help when learners tell us about their difficult home circumstances or relationship problems with their parents.

No two days are the same in teaching, and it offers so much reward.

And if you are considering it as a profession, be warned: if you can’t multitask, you’re in for a difficult time!

–Olga Channing

* Olga Channing is a deputy principal and Afrikaans teacher at a high school in Pretoria. She’s the author of six books for the new school curriculum and after 24 years as a teacher, she still loves her job.

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