Being Assertive
Published: December 10th, 2020 by theatretrain

Being Assertive

“My nearest drama class” or “dance and singing schools near me” are probably what take many new people to Theatretrain via Google. Many of those parents want their kids to find confidence and friendship and skills. I wonder if any of them think about being themselves in their space.

“Any sound in the drama studio travelled the entire length of the school”

I was once a teacher in a community school by the docks in East London. My drama studio was a horrible echoey old hall and beside it ran the longest corridor of any school I have ever been in. You couldn’t see the other end of it and all the classrooms connected to that corridor.  Any sound in the drama studio travelled the entire length of the school. You can see the problem – drama classes equal sound.

Sadly, the head teacher was a bit of a bully and was rarely seen. One day, unbeknown to me he entered my studio and just stood there with his arms folded until all the excited and busy pupils went completely silent. Then he said “And that is how it will be from now on. Thank you, Mr Dowsett,” after which he went.

This gave me a real problem as I am sure you can see. The next day, by some chance, he happened to be in the staff room at coffee time. This was a rare visit. Something inside me said- speak.

I went up to him and said that it was my job to teach drama and that it would always generate noise because often the class needed to speak at once. Then I added,” If you need to change what happens in my room in future, I would appreciate it if you spoke to me rather than my class because you completely undermined me by talking to them.” He backed off, very aware of others standing around, never visited my room again and found me a much better room for teaching drama.

“I think it comes down to believing in yourself”

I think it comes down to believing in yourself, not in being rude or arrogant; just quietly asserting your point of view. You are not always right of course, and you must accept that as well. Years later I wrote this episode into our show “Special Measures” a play about a school. Life and art often collide in the world of “performing arts schools” near me.

Our International Award-Winning performing arts schools, teaching young people skills in singing, acting and dancing can provide your child with a performing arts class that encourages confidence, friendship, communication skills and so much more. If you would like to find out more about our weekend stage schools or your child has shown an interest in attending drama, dance and singing lessons then visit our website www.theatretrain.co.uk or follow us on Instagram by clicking here!