Prompt 21 My Story

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In 1975 I began my career as a teacher. In a few short weeks that career will come to an end.

I like to think of my career as a very fortunate one. I have taught in some wonderful schools, taught some amazing children and worked with many memorable colleagues.

I have lived in the city and the country.

In 1976 my young family and I moved to a small country town in the south of the state.

It was in this school that I began my life long love of drama and performance.

I wrote two short musicals while I was there. As we didn’t have a music teacher in those days I ‘borrowed’ the melodies from known songs. That way I didn’t have to reach the kids the songs but rather only apply the lyrics to the known melodies.

We didn’t have a theatre to perform in so we were fortunate to be given the use of an old disused picture theatre where, once we cleaned it up and chased out the rats we were able to perform two shows. Added to that I borrowed some lights and props from the local Theatre group, enlisted people in the community who could play music for me and away we went. Instant musical. Fun fun fun.

The other proud thing I did while I was working in the bush was to set up an excursion/camping trip for the older kids. As it was an isolated community many kids didn’t get out of town very often so we took them on a trip for six days five nights through Victoria to our south. For many kids I realised that this was one of the few good things they would remember about school.

From there we moved back to our home territory and I gained a spot at a brand new high school. This was a bit like the wild west for a while. We had little resources and a lot of kids who resented being there.

Again we found that a way of uniting the school was to put on a show. We had a great music teacher and in the third year I was there we put on a musical that I had written. It was successful and so began our yearly shows. In 1989 we performed another show of mine called Charming. This one had taken a year to write and I had the help of another drama teacher at the school at the time who was a wonderful support and as keen as I was to see the show happen. That was probably the best show I did as a spectacle at any rate. We gave a lot of kids a great experience to remember, plus we made a few dollars as well. Our leading man, in the shows we did went on to be and still is a successful performer in stage shows throughout Australia.

In 1995 I moved to my present school a totally different teaching and learning environment. I have been in this school for the past 19 years. It is a school that caters for academically gifted children.

In this school I have taught drama and English. I have loved my time there and it is where I shall finish my career.

In this school as a drama teacher in particular I have been given the opportunity to write a lot of performance pieces over the years.

I love the process of performance. How you get from words on a page to an actual performance. It is at times the most exciting of processes. Sometimes it is not much more than trying something out to see what happens. In fact that is one of my favourite sayings to students when they ask me about an idea, I say to them: ‘Give it a go, see what happens.’

So one part of my story is my teaching career. It has been a wonderful time for me. I have been given opportunities to do things most teachers never do, I have been involved in whole school projects and my basic philosophy of education is that learning is about opportunity. Grasp it when it comes your way, you never know where it is going to lead you. Discovering the process of learning is a wonderful path to travel on. I have no regrets.

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19 Responses to Prompt 21 My Story

  1. Anja says:

    You know I have to first comment on the picture! Love theater pictures, and a mask should always be brought in. Something about the masks when I was in drama, comforted me. 🙂
    And….teaching…..what a wonderful profession (yes I may be biased there)…it is a challenge but rewards always out weigh everything else.
    And the bush….sorry Aussie friend, but now I have crocodile Dundee in my head. I am allowed to since people come to me with their American images. 😛

  2. You have lead an interesting life my friend, and though your career will come to an end, your life and your knowledge will support others whom you meet. Being at one School for 19 years is to be recommended, your pupils and staff must think highly of you. Thank you for sharing about your life and may happiness always follow you.

  3. How wonderful to have no regrets 🙂
    Congratulations on such a great career, you should be proud!
    I can remember how teachers had such a strong influence on my growing up – and since my step-dad was also a teacher, it was true of my home life as well. Teaching is an amazingly important career, a true profession.

  4. Oh wow this was amazing I really loved reading about your life what an awesome teacher you are wow! Thank you so much for sharing, I am very impressed by your resourcefulness, can do attitude, and creativity!

    • summerstommy2 says:

      Thank you I am glad you enjoyed my tale. My career has been a good one, love my job, love working with the kids I do, I’m going to miss it

  5. Gabriella says:

    I hope you are proud of that you have achieved as a teacher!

  6. nessa1313 says:

    Teachers never receive their due in praise and thanks. You are so important to our children. I enjoyed reading about your teaching career and I love your philosophy.

  7. Sun says:

    living without regrets – best attitude in life. as they say, one door closes but something better is waiting for you ahead. ☺

    • summerstommy2 says:

      Thanks Sun for that comment and I am sure new doors will open though I still have to get out of this one, work continues until christmas.

  8. Elia Bintang says:

    Most of my family members are teachers and lecturers, so I can relate much to your story. You must be very proud that one of your students is now a successful performer in stage shows. Nothing makes us happier than knowing that we have a contribution in someone’s success. 🙂

  9. gimpet says:

    These are lovely memories and I am glad you have had such a rewarding career in a field that is so hard to make a living. But you are young to retire! Do you have to or is it your desire? Can you continue in community theatre? It would be a shame to see your hard won talent for producing a play go “to waste”. Do tell us your plans for retirement if you have them well in hand.

    • summerstommy2 says:

      My dear Miss Gimpet, my retirement is just another step I take in life’s journey. I would like to travel, write, love and live. Where drama fits into that I do not know. Thank you for your kind words.

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