I really wasn’t a fan of school. I very rarely attended. When it came to choosing my options, I picked the easy ones. Not the subjects that would help me achieve my life long ambition. Mainly because I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. And i still don’t at the age of 40!
Now I need to give you the back story about my first born, before I make my point with this blog.
When my son was first out of nappies we used to holiday at caravan parks. He loved the nightly entertainment ( except the one time, when one of the giant mascots scared him and he pissed all over my lap in fear). When he was four I took him to our local theatre to watch the panto. It was jack and the beanstalk, starring Todd Carty. He was petrified of the giant (luckily he wasn’t sat on my lap this time). After the show he told me he wants to perform on that stage. Thought it rather odd, a child so young would say such a thing. After all the only one who is partly in to entertaining the masses, is my mother.
Primary school years we discover he finds it very easy to climb on stage to entertain people. We also discover he has amazing ability to remember lines. He won a school talent contest and won a local contest.
I signed up for a performing arts school on a Saturday. Turned out he was rather shy and was terrible at singing. Drama he was fine. And as for dance, well he had two left feet when he started. But turns out he wasn’t to bad.
We then moved him over to a local youth theatre group. He would be with his own kind, they put on shows so thought it would be perfect for him. And it was he got straight in, made friends and got to perform in a few shows. He was also learning off people his own age as well as adults.
When he started senior school he found out that they put on musicals. Still not confident with his voice, but there was definitely an improvement he decided to audition. He’s had a few lead roles and been in the chorus.
The crowning moment was getting the part of Edmund in the lion the witch and the wardrobe with a popular local theatre company. He was finally getting to perform on the stage he had wanted to since the age of 4. The show went well, but for me seeing his face when he took his bows at the end, will stay with me forever.
He has done other shows since. Some have been amazing, some not so much. But it’s all been experience. Disappointment for not getting a part, or not getting in a show. Yes he gets pissed off and disappointed. But generally he knows it’s part and parcel of the industry.
He’s now at a fantastic theatre school on a Saturday morning, and they really push him out of his comfort zone and challenge him. He’s getting to take his LAMDA exams. And he’s feeling good. And he now feels confident with his singing voice, and with good reason. He can sing!
Back to education. It was the boys time to pick his options. Well he was obviously going to opt for drama and music. Unfortunately due to the lack of uptake for drama, it’s been dropped.
Now my son knows exactly what he wants to do with his life. And although I always thought if my child turns round to me and says they want to be a footballer, singer or actor I would tell them to get a proper job, as the chances of me winning the lottery is greater than getting in to any of those professions. But my son doesn’t really socialise that much, as he’s always aiming for the next show or improving himself. He is constantly practicing the three elements he needs drama, dance and singing. He has drive and ambition I never had, and probably never will. So who am I to tell him not to follow his dreams. In fact I’m going to help and support him as much as I can. He was even willing to move schools and leave his friends so he could go to a school that would let him take drama GCSE.
The plan has changed. He will stay at the school he’s at and sit his LAMDA exams instead. He will keep auditioning and keep learning from the fantastic people around him. And hopefully his dream will stay alive.
The actual point of this blog. EDUCATION. Ive since heard other subjects are now under threat. Not for my sons year, but following years.
Not all children are academic. Some children have dreams and ambitions outside the box.
I’ve been thinking about drama as a subject. I took drama at school, I was actually good at it. They threatened to give me a lead in the school musical (I definitely don’t sing) and it put me right off. Has drama helped me since leaving school. Apparently it has. It helps me socialise with people, it’s helped me get jobs, it even helped me pass my English GCSE. A subject I took at school as it was a doss lesson, has actually really helped me. Then I thought how else it can help. Build confidence, help with speech issues, entertain, make you feel different emotions. Turns out drama is important after all. In fact I can probably make a list for most of the subjects at school which could also be taken away.
Schools and teachers do a job that I would never want to do. I actually feel for them. A lot of teachers are leaving the field they joined, due to the pressure they are under.
Am I angry at my sons school. No actually I’m not. I’m not happy with lies and how things are handled. But the situation the schools are now finding themselves in, is ridiculous. Not many schools in the area are striving. They are nearly all struggling to meet ofsted standards and budget cuts. Something has to give, as our children are the ones who will suffer.