My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I am a Drama teacher with 20 years’ experience. I have taught all age groups and also worked with people with a range of disabilities. Recently I established a Drama Club which is still running today. I take a collaborative approach in my teaching and appreciate the wonderful input my students offer. I have found that when the ideas come from the students they have more of an ownership of their performances.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
As a specialist support staff I began a Drama programme with young adults with special needs. I coordinated yearly spring celebration concerts to showcase performances. These concerts continued after I left my position. During my time there I also founded and facilitated a programme at the local library. I taught for a Drama Academy for 10 years. In 2020 I started a Drama Club in Hamilton. Recently we had our first end of year performance.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I trained as a High School Teacher of English, Drama and Media Studies at the University of Waikato. I taught High School aged students for several years both in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom. As a specialist support staff I started a Drama programme teaching young adults with a range of disabilities. I taught at a local Academy for ten years; students were from age 5 to 18. I currently teach two classes on a Thursday afternoon from ages 7 to 18.
I would ask students what themes and ideas they wanted to explore. Classes would be individually planned based on student input. Themes that have been popular with children include animals, exploration/adventures and saving the planet. Youth have been interested in science fiction, adventures with plot twists and social issues such as racism and homophobia.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I want to be a part of the Creatives in Schools programme as I am passionate about Drama. When I started a Drama club in 2020 I went from teaching three afternoons a week to just one. I have more to give and would relish the opportunity to improve my craft and share with students that may not have the opportunity to attend after school classes.