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How my experience enhances my services and some ideas to share


Today's blog is about my experience and how it enhances the quality of my services and some ideas to share.


QUALITY TUTORIALS




When students are nervous to say their Slam Poetry lines, I will stand up with them and say it with them. I think it is important to role model while also making sure they get the most out of their experience where they are capable



I visited a Waipa school today that is interested in signing up to my services next year. They mentioned how awesome it was that there are so many ways I can provide fun Education for schools around the Waikato and Waipa regions.

The great thing is, they were right! There are so many pathways I can go down, because of my vast teaching experience. I am able to personalise my lessons at each school to accommodate what the school needs.


...there are so many ways I can provide fun Education for schools around the Waikato and Waipa regions


Te Reo in the classroom is important to me. Primary school kids in particular love seeing multicultural languages used in the classroom and enjoy learning and speaking different languages too.


Why is this?


- I have vast experience teaching Drama, Dance and English

This means I am able to develop lessons and activities that align with the NZ Curriculum. I can confidently teach them too. I am able to teach the subjects individually or combine them in different ways to make my lessons purposeful, unique and interesting.



Students are making 'bacon and eggs' by using their bodies


- I have experience teaching in primary, intermediate and high schools.


This means I am able to develop lessons and activities for all age levels. Further insight into this is as follows:


It is important to include lots of movement and energetic quick-thinking components as well.

Primary age students:

Students have a lot of excitement and energy at this age, therefore effective teaching at primary level involves breaking down skills into exciting small goals and achievements for them. It also includes activities and games that building on the same skills that are needed for performance and technique. It is important to include lots of movement and energetic quick-thinking components as well.

Drama: I know what kinds of topics and values to choose for their Drama performances and assessments that is relevant to them and their own lives e.g., sharing, kindness, recycling. They are usually aware of planning a drama and saying what they might do, but they will need to learn what practising looks like and how to redo the same thing over and again, so that a successful structure of a scene can occur. Dance: I make sure they are learning sequences, understanding shapes and moving to rhythms, beats and lyrics. They need to have an awareness of how the body moves into shapes and need to have a spatial awareness when performing with others. They should be able to improvise movement to a variety of stimuli such as upbeat music, noises, videos, pictures etc. which I think a variety of things helps them learn the connection between having an idea and bringing it to life through dance movement. I like to encourage basic choreography of dance sequences and shapes to be added to a learned dance sequence/routine. This offers student ownership. Selecting through multi choices is encouraged as well e.g., make a circle using your hands in some way with your partner, add a jump or a turn of your choice to complete the sequence.

English through performance: I like to use slam poetry and storytelling to practice speaking to an audience. I'd encourage a line each for year 1 and 2, two or more lines with vocal techniques/emotional expression on key words for year 3 and 4, and four or more lines with consistent vocal techniques/emotional expression for year 5 and 6 Vocal techniques include embellishment, emphasis, tone, pace, pitch, pausing etc.


Intermediate age students:


I know this age is an age of exploration. They are figuring out who they are as individuals and are on the road of tweenhood.

Drama: They should have some basic knowledge of action and reactions, telling a story and communicating a simple idea or value. Many intermediate aged children are open to taking risks and communicating an idea that is emotional and meaningful e.g., prevent bullying, include everyone. This is why I try to use these kinds of ideas when building devising skills. They also enjoy managing others and devising through improvisation, so the majority of my creative components use this structure (plan, devise, perform relfect).

Dance: They should be able to combine elements and contrast them in small sequences. So, I try to offer lots of opportunities to do this in groups of 2-6 as small exercises, in group assessments and also in warm up routines. They should be able to explore Cultural Dance history, purposes and movements well. They should be able to work together in groups to develop sequences in different genres, styles and moods.

I like to include posters and researching, watching videos and responding to them to gain further understanding of Dance contexts.

English through performance: Using slam poetry and storytelling to practice speaking to an audience. I'd encourage narrating a story or an 8-line minimum slam poetry that includes emotional technique as well as facial and hand gestures.

I like to include posters and researching, watching videos and responding to them to gain further understanding of Dance contexts.

High School junior age students:


This age is an age of teen hood. I like to develop lessons and activities that are simplified versions of the NCEA criteria. This is so the bridge into NCEA is a smooth transition in year 11. I like to give them opportunities to perform in showcases and mini productions that they develop themselves, so they are familiar with performance before being formally assessed at NCEA level.

Drama: They should be able to explore theatre forms, devise a drama communicating a simple message/explored theme, and have basic production performance and process experience. I like to include themes that are relevant to their lives such as privacy, cyber bullying, relevant TV series, what they think is right or wrong, relationships and friendships. An introduction to theatre form, touching on the basic theatre form performance skills as well as the history behind the theatre form is explored. I like to use a historical poster or discussion activity for a deeper understanding and a chance to do effective research in preparation for examinations at NCEA level. I think Clowning, Commedia Del Arte, Beginners Shakespeare, Documentary Drama and Soap Opera are great theatre forms to use as they all involve one of two things either can include relevance to their own lives and/or is very body movement driven (which can be more challenging as they get older when they become self-conscious of their movements, but when practiced earlier/in junior level they are likely to be ok with it when at senior level)

Giving the students the chance to work with older and younger students and directing devised dramas, allows students to practise the real process of being in a production and prepares them for the directing component of NCEA. Collaborative skills and leadership skills, in general, are a vital life skill to have in your toolkit too.

Dance: Alike Drama, there is a lot of exploring how Dance has evolved over time and what has been the driven influences. I like to explore genres, contrasts, pop culture, societal influences within Dance and Drama as you can see the effects into the application of form.

I think it is important to perform showcases at this level as well, not only does it make them accountable of work (which can be difficult at this age pre-NCEA) but they can also showcase their progress over the year and develop performance skills as much as possible. This also means it isn't too scary once NCEA assessments happen (since it is a strong requirement with gathering evidence for moderation etc).

English through performance: I like using speech, slam poetry and storytelling to practice speaking to an audience. I'd encourage reciting a poem, developing and performing a slam poetry poem or narrating a story in role, that includes emotional technique as well as facial expressions, hand gestures, body postures and movement


Giving the students the chance to work with older and younger students and directing devised dramas, allows students to practise the real process of being in a production and prepares them for the directing component of NCEA

High School NCEA age students:


This age is an age of young adulthood and independence. They are also involved in a new assessment structure of NCEA, so following specific criteria becomes important to meeting achievement guidelines. External examinations and formal written essay structures are offered for assessment, which requires students to analyse, view and perform in live performance so the need to practice at home and in class is imperative. Lots of students cannot see a pathway between English and Drama as well as English and Dance. Practising how to write a formal paragraph and revising terminology and their effects is important to happen regularly in the classroom, not just around exam time. As for the topics in which their devised pieces and scripts are based around, they should have more mature and complex themes. This also includes the characters in which they study and perform, where they learn about underlying emotions, influential aspects and Stanislavski's methods, as well as how to communicate director/playwright intentions. The option to write your own script and direct scripts are available at this level as well so working with juniors helps support these skills in a fun and innovative way. Working with their friends in the same classes all the time can limit learning.

English through performance: I like to use speech, presentation, slam poetry and storytelling to practice speaking to an audience. I'd encourage reciting a poem, monologues, duologues, developing and performing a slam poetry poem or narrating a story in role, that includes emotional technique as well as facial expressions, hand gestures, body postures and movement, as well as, elements (mood, contrast), conventions (play by play, chorus of movement or voice, spoken thought, monologue, soliloquy, narration) and technologies (PowerPoint, video clips, Social media/apps, SFX, lighting, sound, costumes, set, props etc.)


I like to use speech, presentation, slam poetry and storytelling to practice speaking to an audience.

Scholarship level students:


This is a sophisticated level in the Performing Arts. They are capable of thinking from a playwright's perspective, director's perspective, choreographer's perspective, professional dancer's perspective and a professional actor's perspective. It is important that they are learning what it is like to develop Performing Arts' skills at tertiary level. They are gauging the why's and how's of putting on a professional performance which can be developed into a career. So the quality of insight into the characters they develop, the dance movement executed, and the message they wish to portray is vital at this level. Knowledge of all the aspects around technologies, venues, set, technique, terminology and purpose allows for the student to be aware of how to improve the quality of a performance to reach a certain audience, mood, tone, and intrigue. I also like to run rehearsals as though they are completing an actual scholarship level examination by putting them on the spot with questions, impromptu devising and choreography, and challenging them to step outside of the box with their creative activities, making sure they aren't afraid to do something unique, unusual and imaginative.



- I have vast experience developing units, lesson plans and activities


I have been a Head of Department since 2016 and have developed unit plans, lessons plans and exercises for all age levels (year 1-13). I have been a teacher since 2011/2012 and have taught dance as a dance tutor since 2006.

- I have experience developing choreography, script writing and directing


The first play I ever wrote was in 2015. It was performed several times in different schools since 2016. I have, to date, off the top of my head have written 6+ plays that have been performed in schools and have directed other works as well.

I have choreographed performances since 2001. I have a competitive dance background and also have dance instruction experience. This includes exercise fitness and was a qualified Zumba instructor. I have directed and produced showcases, variety concerts and Shakespearean festivals.

I have been a thespian and acted in productions since 2001. I've always had a thing for Comedy, Pantomimes and anything that will involve the audience.




I've always had a thing for Comedy, Pantomimes and anything that will involve the audience.

- I am an online Waikato Tutor and an online Waipa Tutor


This year I have tutored a variety of age levels and learning abilities online. My business offers online tuition for all age levels, and I have taught mainly high school level online tuition for English, Drama and Dance. My examination prep one on one lessons have been the most successful online tuition that is available. Although I offer online tuition to all New Zealand students, it has been most successful in the Waikato/Waipa regions. I have experience assisting students with learning difficulties, autism, as well as building confidence. I have supported them with grammar, sentence structures, critical analysis, language features, theatre form analysis, analysing text, drama performance analysis, Dance technique, and conversation starters (learning how to talk to people, have conversation when shy).


My examination prep one on one lessons have been the most successful online tuition that is available.



My journey continues....


If you would like to book online tutoring over the holidays or during 2023, you can do so by booking here:



If you would like to know more about me as a teacher and online tutor, you can learn more by reading this blog:



If you would like support finding the right online tutor, you can learn more by reading this blog:



Time, Experience, Manaakitanga.


Tovah O'Neill




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