Guest Blogpost: Job Sharing and Working as a Dramatherapist

Hello fellow teachers,My name is Clair (teacherturnedtherapist) and I have been teaching for the past 7 years.

In January 2016, I decided that I wanted to become a Dramatherapist (what is a Dramatherapist? Don’t worry I will get to that later). After some research, I discovered that I could do a two year masters in Ireland. I contacted the course co-ordinator and was informed that the hours in the course were full day Friday and every second Saturday.

Fear:

How would this work with school?

I couldn’t afford to take a career break AND pay for the masters! I discussed my predicament with my principal at the time and she was very supportive. She suggested that I look into job-sharing. This seemed like the perfect solution as I would still have a wage coming in, and I would have time to study and attend college.

What were the job-share options?

  1. Job-share with a teacher in my own school.
  2. Reduce my hours to job-share hours and ask my school to find someone to cover the rest of the hours.
  3. Job-share with a teacher from another school.

The option that worked best for my school was number 3. Therefore, I set about finding a job-share partner.

Where did I find my job-share partner?

One of my colleagues directed me to the INTO job-share register. I started to email any teacher who was in close proximity to my school. I soon became very disheartened when I received many emails from teachers saying they had already secured their job-share partners. I had left it very late to start looking for a job-share partner as the closing date each year is February 1st. I started to panic a little as I had already applied for the course.

 

Joy:

On a wet, Wednesday morning I received a message from a teacher expressing interest in job-sharing in my school. I was so thrilled to get the email but I didn’t want to jinx it just yet. After our first phone call, I realised that I was speaking to my future job-share partner. We came to a perfect arrangement which suited both of us. I would work every Monday and Tuesday and my partner would work every Thursday and Friday. We would alternate every second Wednesday. It worked so well the first year that we decided to job-share together for the second year too. The best part of the job-share was that we came out with just under 60% of our wages!

I am delighted to say, after two long years, I am now a fully qualified Dramatherapist. I am sure you are wondering what even is Dramatherapy. To satisfy your curiosity, I will give a short insight into what dramatherapy is and what my role as a dramatherapist is.

What is Dramatherapy? Dramatherapy is a creative art therapy, which integrates role play, stories, improvisation, puppetry and fun into the therapy. Dramatherapy can help clients communicate their feelings through play and drama. No prior experience of drama is necessary.Dramatherapy is a therapy that can work for all client groups. I have worked with clients with ASD,  intellectual disabilities, anxiety and mental health issues.

Dramatherapy sessions:  Dramatherapy caters for adults and children either in groups or individually.

Benefits of Dramatherapy:

  • Builds confidence and self esteem
  • Develops relationships with others in the group
  • Develops new coping skills
  • Reduces feeling of isolation
  • Develops ability to communication both verbally and non-verbally
  • Gives clients the freedom to express feelings through play and stories
  • Develops good social skills such as eye contact and turn taking

Overall Conclusion:I was delighted that I made the decision to job-share while doing my two year masters in Dramatherapy. It was the perfect balance. It meant that I could continue to teach, earn money and pursue further education. If I was to give one piece of advice to someone who is thinking of job-sharing it would be to communicate and share ideas constantly with your job-share partner. After that, the world is your oyster (but only on your days off)!

 If you would like any further information about Dramatherapy or job-sharing you can contact me on Instagram @teacherturnedtherapist.