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  • “Look, they're a bit of a tough bunch of kids. They don't try very hard and it's hard to get them to work as a group”, she said, a hint of bitterness creeping into her professional teaching demeanour. For my very first workshop as the teacher-artist of a new theatre company, I was more than a little nervous. It had been almost two and a half years since I'd last been in the Drama classroom and I was seriously concerned I'd lost all my skills. I left my stable teaching job to become a mummy, and now I was on the precipice of a professional life again, albeit a more risky (yet hopefully more fulfilling) one.

    Those first moments in the classroom were the most terrifying; the students all sizing me up, making their instantaneous calculations/assumptions about who I was, what I was like, whether they were going to humour me or put up a wall. But having been given the heads up about their apathy, I knew right away I had to hit them with High-Energy-Kate. So I brought out all my most fun, most enthusiastic, most you-must-say-yes games and exercises. And it worked! I had them in the palm of my hand. So when we began the 'serious' Dramatic work, they were enthused, focused and ready to give it their best shot.

    I had this beautiful, crystal-clear moment mid-workshop when all the kids were busy creating performances, where I looked around and I thought to myself, “This is exactly where I'm supposed to be, doing exactly what I am here on this Earth for”. It was such an exciting, inspiring moment, to remember this other part of myself outside motherhood – the enthusiastic, passionate, open Drama teacher – and to be validated with the kids enjoying themselves, learning a lot, and their teacher hurriedly taking notes on all my games, exercises and ideas.

    A successful first step in my new role and hopefully the start of many more like it!
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