Enjoy sweet rewards

1st February 2008 at 00:00
Forget the daily grind, go for the bright lights of extra curricular fun, those trips, matches and plays, advises Sue Cowley.

There's more to teaching than being in the classroom: writing reports, parents' evenings, staff meetings. Do those fill you with enthusiasm? Nope, me neither. What does inspire is involvement in extra curricular activities: shows, clubs, teams and trips.

Yes, it's a time commitment. But this is repaid in new experiences and positive relationships. You see the pupils in an informal setting, they behave themselves better and see you in a relaxed "non teacher-y" role.

There's an element of risk, especially when taking pupils further afield. Stories abound, from the minor (a sneaky fag) to the serious (teenagers caught in flagrante).

Even the name "extra curricular" sounds naughty. Relax your limits a little, but maintain a semblance of classroom boundaries. Ask for a "professional" attitude from pupils.

No time for total involvement? You can still offer support. It means a lot when staff attend a football match, or help in the front of house for a show.

If you're still not convinced, consider this. At the end of your career, it won't be the daily grind you remember, but those rare inspirational moments beyond the classroom walls. A store of memories to delight: laughter, applause, commitment and fun. And an added bonus? Your pupils will remember it too.

Sue Cowley is an author, trainer and presenter. Her latest book is Getting the Buggers into Drama (Continuum). For more information, visit www.suecowley.co.uk.

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