**Thoughts For The Week**

I hate lessons that have to be learnt the hard way, but then, if lessons were easy to learn – they wouldn’t be lessons right?!

I have got a bug. No! Not A bug. THE bug! The performing bug. I just blinking knew it would return to haunt me at some point in my life and here it is right at the time I least expected I would need it….

During the last few months I have found myself re-living insecurities, forcing myself into situations I am very uncomfortable with; attempting to second guess the feelings and emotions of others and facing a demon which has troubled me for many years. All of which catapulted at me within the space of one classroom, during one lesson. The question is not how I could have let this happen…again, but rather, what am I, as a teacher, going to do about it? Eeeek!!

Racking my brains for professional ways to get a point across to my pupils, without them further intimidating me or their peers, is very challenging. Lining them all up against a wall and screaming “BULLYING IS NOT OK” is the best idea I have come up with so far.

This evening I sat with a cuppa in one hand and my wonderful iPod in my ears. I sat with no background noise and just focused on the music each song would play; on the words that would enter my mind in such a striking sense. It is funny how a song, one simple song, can transport you to a different place. How one song can envelop your whole being, making emotions surge through you body faster than the blood pumps around you. Tonight I was taken back to times when I was low; unhappy. Times where I couldn’t escape the intimidation and humiliation that I would face just by waking up each morning. I felt sick to my stomach remembering those times. And yet in the painful memories I remembered what pulled me through….faith, music, dance and drama. As much of a pain in the ass being a wanna-be-performer was to myself and those around me, I got through some of the hardest times of my teenage years by getting on that stage. 

As an adult, and especially as a teacher, I find it utterly heart-breaking watching pupils bully and intimidate their peers; more so than the bullying I was a victim of. At 16 I finally realised that this kind of behaviour was not acceptable in my life – that it was not acceptable full stop! It is my mission to teach every pupil of mine about equality – about being who you truly are despite what others think of you. But what do you do when you aren’t getting through? I do what I always do….I run to the stage.

Performing is my therapy; it is my way of dealing with life’s challenges. Whether that be part of a group, on a stage or in front of my own mirror…..performing is my escape. If I can channel all my anger and my emotions into one bundle of adrenalin, then I know I can perform to the best of my ability. Once I have performed I feel so elated that the anger I previously felt, doesn’t seem as bad. Whether I am teaching Drama or English, Maths or Science I aim to encourage all of my pupils to focus on their task, rather than what their peers or I think. Easier said then done I know but the basic implications that they have the right to be individual – to be themselves -speaks wonders for them and for their work.

Facing the issue of bullying once again in my adult life is something I have desperately wanted to avoid. This time around I may not be the victim of bullying but I am baring witness to such acts. Bullying is NOT ok people!!! As much as my peers or my pupils may hate me I will continue to enforce this – BULLYING IS NOT OK!! 

Thankfully my performing bug has returned and not only to help me but to help my pupils also. I want to encourage and inspire my students through the issues that they are facing in life but most of all, I want my pupils to realise that being different is ok – being different is beautiful.

Life is difficult…we are all very aware of this but finding something or someone to help you through its challenges, makes your journey that little bit less daunting. Performing may not be your option but something will be. Whatever or however you choose to fight through life’s barriers remember – you are beautiful in every way. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.  

xOx

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Published in: on February 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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