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  • katybateson

The scars left by teachers

Teachers have a massive impact on our lives. Both positive and negative.


I have had some teachers both at school and in Improv who have changed my life for the better. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the belief my high school drama teacher showed me. I needed to do volunteer work for a sports leadership award and asked to help with the school drama club. She responded by saying I could teach the drama club and I did for 5 years. I taught, co-directed school plays, wrote pieces for them to perform and learnt so much. Her confidence in my abilities and the freedom she gave me led me to where I am today.


But I’ve also had teachers that have left scars. Like my GCSE English teacher who despite the fact that I achieved an A* in English Literature never once said well done. Dick.


And the teacher who was always negative and critical and impossible to please. Who regularly said “Katy can’t do character.” I carried that belief around for a very long time, it tapped me on the shoulder in scenes and hung heavy in my heart.


And not only did that negativity affect my improvisation it crept into my teaching. After being on the receiving end of a negative teacher I became determined to be positive, to praise my students and fill my classes with light.


If you’ve taken any of my courses you’ll have probably noticed that I don’t give much constructive criticism. That’s because years later I still haven’t figured out how to do it without feeling hot, panicky and shamed!


We have such a responsibility as teachers to nurture our students and be kind. We need to remember that this is just our style of teaching and it isn’t gospel, we don’t have the right to judge or shame our students if they don’t improvise exactly as we say they should. It is just our opinion and they are free to take or leave our feedback.


If you have a teacher who shames or mocks or makes you feel small. If they act as if they are  God and expect to be worshipped please get out. You deserve so much more. Believe me.


Find a teacher who will believe in you, encourage you and help you to fly You deserve it. Believe me ❤️

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