Friday, August 24, 2012

Tech Week for Teachers

I used to love working in the theatre — and really that shouldn't be past-tense — I still love it, I just don't have time for it anymore.

In college I spent many hours prepping for shows: constructing sets, painting, hanging lighting instruments and countless other jobs.  There were many late nights and many times, especially in the week before a show opened (i.e. "tech week"), I would spend more time working than with any other activity (including sleep!)  Tech week would drain me, but I still ultimately loved it! 

Of course, what's the point of this recollection?  Well, a number of months ago, I remember reading the following article:  10 Ways Being a Theatre Major Prepared Me for Success, and immediately thinking how true it was.  While I ended up 3 credit hours short of such a major, I learned much from my theatre days.  And two of the best things I learned that translate to this time of year were (1) how much can be accomplished in a short time and (2) how tech week is always survivable.

I remember beginning tech week on many shows where sets were still in basic construction, lighting wasn't yet hung, and to do lists went on for pages.  Nonetheless, we'd band together, put insane work hours in and by opening night somehow everything would come together.  And then once the end was reached, we'd crash for a day or two, and then turn around and repeat the craziness with the next show.  Yes, it was tiring, but the joy of opening night and the subsequent shows would always make up for it.

In many ways, it's very much like teaching.  I just completed 5 very tiring, seemingly endless days of work trying to get my classroom together while attending the many, many meetings the powers-that-be filled our schedule with too.  I'm short on sleep, exhausted from moving furniture, unpacking, stretching to hang and reach things far above my head, climbing up and down off countless chairs and the occasional desk (to reach such areas), sorting and organizing 800 books and…well, the list could go on and on and on!

BUT, just like tech week, the reward is soon to come.  We have orientation on Monday and our first full day comes on Wednesday — and then, all my hard work organizing and prepping our reading and writing space starts to pay off, and that part I'm already getting excited about. 

In fact, here's a first glance at 2012-2013's reading and writing space: 

Still a few little things to complete, but just about ready for a new batch of readers and writers! :)

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