I want to let you into a little secret.
I have a scheme of work that I teach to first years in Drama that I have been teaching since 1994.
It is called Cuddington Manor and the idea, about a haunted house and young person who goes there to try and solve a mystery, was given to me a colleague; I took it and developed it in my early years of teaching in London. For a while most of the ideas were in my head.
Once I became head of department, I had to write a detailed scheme of work and lesson plans for a couple of colleagues who were science teachers but teaching some drama for me.
The scheme has travelled with me through four schools and never failed me. Pupils throughout the UK have loved it and I have loved teaching it to them.
I have refined and added to it over the years, learning from successes and less successful lessons, creating PowerPoints (which weren’t part of our teaching toolkit back in the day), adding learning intentions and success criteria and matching against Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes and Benchmarks.
I don’t do the bit where I turn all the lights off and light a candle any more as I know the janitors would have a collective heart attack.
And I have had to do some research into whether Lords and Ladies of the manor are quite the same in Scotland as England; but then of course there was Monarch of the Glen which re-assured me.
And this year I have made a connection between the work we do on suspense and the murder-mystery genre with Death in Paradise, the hit BBC TV series.
But here’s the thing. I am still pretty much teaching the same thing in the same way as I was nearly 25 years ago, because it works. It works because I teach every lesson with fresh eyes and a passion, confidence and energy that makes the content new and interesting to every child who experiences it. And because I get those motivating, stage-fright anticipatory nerves before every single lesson, no matter how familiar the content.
Let’s not waste paint on walls that don’t need re-decorating (to borrow an image from @therealdavidcameron)
Let’s not re-invent wheels when they still run smoothly and take passengers to where they need to go.