This month we sat down with Mr. James Tear, Drama Teacher and Assistant Head of Secondary, and discussed a variety of things!
Abigail Tear - wife
Eden Tear - 1-year old son
Bump - Due 29th December 2023
Background: Grew up in Cannock, Staffordshire, UK
Studied at Aberystwyth University and then Loughborough University
Food - pizza
Football team - Wolverhampton Wanderers
Destination - Budapest, Hungary
Fun fact - I used to be on UK Netflix in a TV show called Hinterland as an extra
What inspired you to become a teacher, and how long have you been in education?
I have been in education since 2017, predominantly teaching in schools in and around Birmingham, UK. I've always loved drama and I followed in the footsteps of my drama teacher which took me to Aberystwyth University, Wales. From there I transferred after two years to Loughborough University to follow my other passion, sports. After I had finished University, I was working at a DIY store that I had worked in since I was sixteen years old, and my drama teacher happened to come in to buy a new kitchen. We caught up and discussed how we were, what we were up to, and before I knew it, he convinced me to join education and by the September, I was working in the school he had recently moved to.
What subjects do you specialize in, and what do you enjoy most about teaching them?
I specialise in the subject of drama, and I believe it is such an important subject for young people. The skills that students gain from drama are so vital in their development and progression in their life. These skills include confidence, communication, teamwork, leadership, problem solving and much more. When young people reach further education or the world of work, they are in a much better position to progress in their choice due to the skills they have gained from drama.
If there was some other subject that you could teach what would it be?
I've taught different subjects during my teaching career and one of the subjects that I have enjoyed teaching is Physical Education. There are so many similarities between PE and drama due to them both being predominantly practical subjects which is why I have enjoyed teaching it previously.
What are some of your teaching philosophies/approaches to ensure a positive learning environment?
All students within my classes will achieve the same goal by the end of the lesson, how they get to that end point will differ based on the child's personality, type of learner they are and their subject knowledge. As long as students are open to attempting drama through theoretical and practical work, I can support them in ensuring they master dramatical skills and gain the knowledge necessary to be successful within the subject of drama.
Are there any hobbies or interests you have outside of the classroom that you'd like to share with your students and their families?
I enjoy a range of activities outside of work that include football, running, squash, travelling, watching live performances, visiting the theatre and spending time with my family.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to students to help them succeed in your class?
Always be open-minded and be prepared to take a risk even if it might make you feel anxious or uneasy. In drama, we constantly push one another to get the best performances possible by mastering dramatic skills and techniques. I would also advise to enjoy your lessons, the more enjoyment you have with something, the more likely you are to succeed.
Can you share a fun or memorable teaching moment that has had a lasting impact on your teaching career?
While working in Birmingham, I have worked with many young people who come from all walks of life and there was one student who absolutely adored football and drama. He very much reminded me of myself when I was his age growing up. This student had a difficult upbringing as he moved from home to home, no consistency, struggled to control his emotions but when he was on the football pitch or performing, he shined. He had opted to take drama as a GCSE and I had taken the Year 10 and 11 drama students to a theatre within Birmingham to see Noughts & Crosses. Majority of these students had never been to a theatre before, and the majority of their families had not been either. This moment will stick with me for the rest of my life as all of the students were mesmerised as they entered the theatre and they started asking questions, running down to the stage to see it up close, finding their designated seat, it was truly special. I then noticed that there was one student who hadn't moved since we entered the auditorium, his mouth wide open and eyes lit up as he gazed around the theatre. This moment is why I'm in education, to inspire, to motivate and to offer students any and every opportunity possible.
Did you have a favourite teacher growing up? Or a most memorable experience from your own school life?
I had a couple of favourite teachers for different reasons growing up but the similarities between them were that they listened to me, believed in me, and challenged me to be the best version of myself and I am grateful to each of them for when I am today.