Monday, 2 September 2013

Back to School

I had my first day at school today, which consisted of inductions, planning meetings and policy outlines... oh yeah, and taking a photo for my ID card and having my head come up looking super shiny!

I feel very much welcomed and ready to begin teaching Spoken Word to my new classes; there's a lot of new information to take in and I'll have to bear this in mind when I'm next baffled by my pupils during the last class of the day, if they don't seem to grasp everything immediately. They have to take in new information day in, day out; I mostly rejig my own templates, re-interpret concepts and spend the rest of the time questioning things, re-arranging lines/paragraphs, deleting cliches and deciding on the mot juste  right word.
yet another Edinburgh photo...

I realise I've been anxious about starting school; it's a massive step into the unknown, right? And after the wildness of the summer - travelling, gigging, Edinburgh, late nights and later mornings included - it's about adjusting to new responsibilities and different priorities.

Anxiety can be a mysterious and powerful force (as I learnt here in Harry Giles' very insightful blog post). For one, it makes me more vulnerable to things: the dodgy, undercooked sausage two weeks ago - fine; the hamburger last weekend - still getting over it (yep, really). An average of four hours of sleep a day in Edinburgh - fine; eight hours last night - not nearly enough. But I'm learning to recognise it for what it is and work with it. I also know it's helped me empathise with other people who are finding day-to-day tasks challenging. So it's not a bad thing. It just means there's a lot going on and I need to focus.

I'm hoping that over the next few weeks I'll find really effective ways to memorise names and room numbers; I also hope I'll have some good first lessons and some even better poems come out of the classes. It's all unspoken - till now, ha ha! - but all the Spoken Word Educators want our pupils to be the best! And if it comes down to a Slam, I'd love to say that the pupils I'm teaching are the most talented bunch. But most of all, I really hope it's a useful tool so that poetry is a form they can use to articulate their emotions - including their anxieties - and that they'll be more engaged people for it. And that's what it all boils down to.




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