Short Course Classroom Presence - a Course for Teachers

Middlesex University Summer School

Tuition fee:
  • € 280 / Module (EEA)
  • € 280 / Module (Non-EEA)
Start date: July  2014
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time
Entry level: Highschool

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So often in the packed timetable of a teacher there is no time to think about how to communicate confidently and effectively with your class...and yet this is where so many teachers, especially those in training, feel they need the most help. David and Guy, both qualified teachers (primary and secondary) and trained actors, run fun, exciting and liberating courses for all teachers, particularly those in training. Topics covered include: voice, status, posture, presence, 'getting noticed', managing your audience, adjusting to different spaces, matching energy, storytelling, interactive and creative teaching. Whether youre new to teaching or an experienced professional this course will reinvigorate your teaching style and classroom presence.


Timetable of Events (subject to change)

Every session begins with a suitable warm up re-capping and reinforcing the skills previously covered.


* Morning (10.00-12.30)

We run an exciting, energetic, engaging introductory drama based workshop in order to relax everyone and encourage people to use their bodies and begin active interaction and communication. They are asked before the workshop not to question what they're doing, but to 'go with it' in order to feedback later on.

* Afternoon (13.30-16.00)

Feedback sessions following the morning's workshop.

What did they notice/like/dislike? Why did we do it as we did? How do they think it could have been improved etc? The group is encouraged to reflect on the presentation styles employed and to reflect on their own feelings/inhibitions.

As a group complete a large spider diagram/check list of what they wish to achieve learn by the end of the week. Set out our timetable for the week.

Finish off recapping some of the exercises from the morning and begin to develop one such as 'Look at me.'

Tuesday -Skills Day

* Morning

Begin work on presence in the classroom, entering and dominating the space, being relaxed in flexible, status, posture and physicality, keeping the ball in the air.
Exercises such as 'switching on the light', 'look at me', grounding and centering
tools, status games, the use of stillness, economy and purpose of movement.

* Afternoon

Voice session: the use of the voice, freeing the voice to make it a flexible, nimble tool, steadying the voice to overcome nerves. This session will include many of the exercises used in professional actor training and will give the students many tools for beginning to master their voices.

Wednesday Teacher as Storyteller

* Morning

Begin with the group working together, led by myself, on a short Shakespeare chorus excerpt to tell the story physically. To work on audience placement, dealing with different audiences and awkward spaces. Begin working on gaining the focus of the group before beginning your story. Presenting 'dull' texts such as: instructions, sight reading.

* Afternoon

Storytelling session: students choose a children's story from selection and have to tell it to the group in small groups. Focus on audience placement, dramatizing, use of voice and space.

Thursday Teacher as Performer

* Morning

The lesson as a piece of performance or interactive theatre.
Significant warm up and extension of previous activities into improvisation games and skills. Discussion of lesson structure as a performance i.e. the function of each section: Introduction as gaining focus, interest, attention.
Main part of the lesson should be interactive, driven and controlled with interjections, keeping 'the ball in the air.' Plenary as curtain call.

* Afternoon

Theatre in education afternoon
Split into groups of four or five. Each group is given a random subject e.g. Sound, Roman History and a selection of props to use. There challenge is to come up with a 15min piece of theatre education designed to entertain and teach the rest of the group. The groups are not expected to present fact, there is no need to research, but to present their own created information in an exciting way. Consider opportunities for interactivity, audience positioning.

Friday Final Day

* Morning

Summing up and recap of all the skills and tools learnt over the week. Surprise activity. Begin preparation for the afternoon.

* Afternoon

The big final afternoon.
Each person is to lead a 5 minute lesson for the rest of the group on their own subject. The running order will be prearranged so that the group must consider themselves the teaching team for the afternoon and treat the session as a group performance. They must not drop the ball throughout the afternoon and deliver each section with impact. Final feedback session.


Guy Michaels and David Windle


All courses (except Spanish and French options) are taught in English and require TOEFL 550 (IELTS 6.0) or the equivalent if English is a second language.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
TOEFL paper-based test score : 550

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