Never Bring Out The Skeleton

Today I had 50% of a fabulous lesson with Year 8 Drama. 

We start with a fantastic warmup I call “Keeper of the Keys” where you blindfold one student in the centre of a circle, put a set of keys at their feet and give them a foam sword. You let the other students sneak around to steal the keys and generally someone gets whacked with a sword. As I said, fantastic. 

This was meant to introduce the concept of spatial awareness onstage, as we were going to go into how space affects the relationship between performers, also following on from the previous lesson about focus. 

However, one student starts talking about how tense he felt while watching this game unfold. 

Being the ‘safari’ teacher I am (I follow those tangents like there’s no tomorrow), I immediately latch onto the fact that tension is in fact the very next element of Drama that were were going to cover on Wednesday. Sniffing a small window of opportunity and engagement, I switch across to my tension lesson. 

We start discussing the power of the dramatic pause and some forms of tension (relationships, task/obstacle, surprise and mystery). I joke about what mysteries I have hidden in my magical storeroom and casually drop that Sparky would love to meet them – he’s the skeleton I borrowed from Science that looks far more attractive in his Drama hats. 

Obviously this disintegrates into a non-stop chant of “WE WANT SPARKY”. 

Sparky comes out, we all give him a hug, the chanting subsides and I seamlessly transition into the remainder of my lesson on space. 

Space. Not tension. Space. 

As such, I have now taught my students half the lesson on tension and half the lesson on space. I don’t even know where to pick up again tomorrow. 

And this is why we never bring out the skeleton. 



Know your students 

So I’m just standing there, teaching me some elements of art. 

“Chloe, yell out a colour!” 


“John, give us a colour!” 




and of course I’ve chosen the kid who’s colourblind. 

Thank goodness he’s got a sense of humour and yells out: 


The Fist Bump Club

Today one of my Year 7s offered me a fist bump on his way out of class. I probably gave a slightly confused look as I readjusted my rings, so as not to slice his fist open. We bumped. I said to have a good afternoon.

Obviously I hadn’t taken this seriously enough.

I was then informed by this lovely kid that he didn’t just give out fist bumps to any old teacher, but that I was one of five teachers in the school that he had deemed worthy. He listed the other four (to be fair four of my favourite colleagues). I was asked did I realise what that meant? It means I’m nice and I help him.



I mentioned the fist bump club while passing Teachers #1 and #2 to let them know that I was now a member of this secret society of pedagogical brilliance.

Did my fist bump have an explosion at the end? Well, no it didn’t.

Turns out there’s a whole next level to the Fist Bump Club. The mystery continues…


Holiday Marking

Tis the season to be marking! For some strange reason I made assessment tasks due for 4 of my 6 classes in Week 10 this term. As such, I now have the following to mark: 

  • 45 design portfolios 

  • 45 piñatas (yes that’s a real task and yes it is the greatest thing to teach) 

  • 27 jazz performances

  • 27 Music process diaries 

  • 20 Visual Design process diaries 

  • 5 board games 

As you can see, I teach some pretty fun stuff. 

But it’s going to be a pretty busy holiday! See you on the other side 😀

The Time I Flipped Out


You know the bottle flipping challenge right? Kids fill up their water bottles halfway, then attempt to flip it mid air so it lands right way up on the desk. Some YouTube thing I’m assuming. If you feel like a bit of context, this teacher parodies it very well.

It’s annoying. It’s noisy and disruptive. Plus my students are particularly bad at it.

So I may have absolutely cracked it and potentially crossed a teeny tiny line this week. This is how it went down:

  1. Student X is flipping her water bottle. Background info: it is a half-empty, disposable 100mL Coles brand water bottle.
  2. I ask her to put it back in her bag. She does. 4 flips later.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2.
  4. Repeat Steps 1 and 2. Again.
  5. Students A, B and C are giving a presentation. Student X is flipping her water bottle. Student X miscalculates and accidentally flings it across the room.
  6. I storm across the room and pick it up before she does.
  7. She promises to put it back in her bag.
  8. I open the window, tip the water out the window and hand the empty bottle back.
  9. All hell breaks loose and I spend the remaining 5 minutes fielding indignant questions about how I would feel if someone did that to me and how gross the school water is and how her mum bought it especially for her and how she’s going to sue me.

It hasn’t been the greatest week.

Things I Have To Do Tomorrow. 

  • 5 period day with a playground duty. 
  • Teach Stanislavskian realism, piñata design, workplace health and safety, research skills, bibliographies, comparisons of WWI and WWII, Google Classroom, forms of design. 
  • Chase 3 kids that haven’t handed in notes for the excursion on Tuesday. 
  • Find 5 more costume feature items for the dance tomorrow. 
  • Write 9 lessons to leave for a casual, when most of my subjects are practical. 
  • Photocopy 45,000 worksheets. 
  • Eat lunch. Maybe. 
“Some tired angry bastards” by @rubyetc_