Socrates has encapsulated all the essence of education: ‘Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel’. As teachers we should do exactly that-but how can this be accomplished if we ourselves stay static in a state of inertia in both our personal and professional development?
The flame should be burning in us first. Personal development for me is a prerequisite for moving forward. By learning and practising new life skills you cultivate your self esteem and self confidence. Even more importantly you cultivate your intrapersonal skills- emotional intelligence and in this way you become a better teacher being able to manage effectively a classroom and interact effectively with students.
Personal development should be combined with professional development and an eagerness to learn new educational skills, new techniques of teaching. It was that flame that drove me to explore teaching English through Drama. This holistic, liberating teaching approach caught my attention and I started studying it. It required a lot of diligence and meticulous studying but I enjoyed every minute of it. A new world of knowledge opened up for me and an opportunity to change my way of teaching.
Educational Drama builds team spirit, communication skills and students’ confidence in their own English abilities. Drama is a teaching tool that allows students to participate in everyday situations and act them out. It is a non-traditional method of teaching giving students the opportunity to express their emotions and practice language with communicative activities in a real context. Students experiment with language and learn to improvise, skills necessary in the acquisition of any language.
The benefits of using Drama in my schools led me to develop ‘The English Drama Method’ that is widely used in our schools and in other schools that have adopted this way of teaching. I offer a lot of training opportunities to my teaching staff as I want them to be able to follow this way of teaching. It is an ongoing process that benefits me, my teachers and my students. Once you start teaching this way, you never look back relying only on traditional teaching.
Professional development helps us as teachers not only to be competent in our profession but excel in it. Exploring ways to grow professionally does not only make you a better teacher but a better person as well!
Founder of English Drama Method, Language School owner