Recently, a great deal of concern has been expressed around the Tory ad campaign attacking Justin Trudeau as “too inexperienced” to tackle the complexities of being Prime Minister. As well, a great deal has been made about the slant the Tories have taken in this campaign, which points to Trudeau’s past work experience as a detriment to true leadership. In particular, his experience as, of all things, a drama teacher, has caused his leadership ability to be questioned .
I have to completely agree on this one. Imagine the horror? I mean, what possible skills could a drama teacher bring to the leadership of this country?
First of all, lets begin with the ability to develop co-operative relationships. I mean, seriously, this is a keystone of any drama teacher’s toolbox. The ability to take individuals who may not see eye to eye and have them work closely together for a prolonged period of time on a common goal seems an absurd and foolish thing to want in a Prime Minister.
Secondly, what of the amount of anonymous work involved? All those hundreds of hours put in “behind the scenes”. Doing all those countless little things, looking after the details, out of the spotlight. Working tirelessly, sacrificing family time and, in some cases, health, in an effort to create something that allows others to shine? Preposterous that working hard so that others can succeed should be considered a valuable trait for the leader of our nation.
Finally, to even imagine that the unique social perspective of a drama teacher would be of use in the Prime Minister’s chair makes my blood boil. Imagine a leader who took all who entered their realm and treated them equally, regardless of background or socio-economic class. Imagine a leader whose only demand on the collective was that they respect the process of creating and each other’s contribution to that process. Imagine a leader who was willing to take the weak as well as the strong and say to them “Come with me and I will make you great. Trust me, because I trust you. Together we will reveal a potential within you that even you do not know you possess.” Imagine that. Because this is what drama teachers do.
A former drama teacher as Prime Minister
I totally agree with Tory spokesperson Fred Delory, who told the Ottawa Citizen on April 25th that this type of experience does not qualify someone to run ” a G-7 country in a period of global economic uncertainty”.
I do believe, however, it might just be enough to qualify someone to run my Canada.
I’m not sure that Justin Trudeau possesses all these skills. I am not sure that Harper has them. Nor Mulcair. But before any political party begins to trash our profession as not being worthy of building leaders, they may wish to take note.
Drama teachers are a special breed of people who develop co-operation in their students, work tirelessly so that others can shine, and help all students reach their fullest potential.
Canadians should dream of such a leader.
4 responses to “Drama teaching experience is NOT going to help Trudeau.”
There are many things said about teachers and teaching by those people who have never done or could not do the job.
If the skills required to be a Prime Minister include leadership, continuous learning, grasping fiscal realities, compromising, innovating and decision making then any teacher has a huge depth of experience.
Before becoming a teacher I had other careers, many of the qualities that one needs for positions of leadership can be learned from most careers. The one difference teaching is mentally and physically more taxing than my other careers.
A few decades ago a Dartmouth City police officer was speaking with my boss about his new role with the department speaking to school students about drugs, alcohol, violence as the school liaison. He said it was harder than anything he had done before as he tried to keep up with twenty-five very active minds.
Teaching is a tough gig that requires you to be on and ready at all times.
Yes, it certainly can be…Thanks for your comments.
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I’m a drama teacher by training and an English teacher by choice. And last weekend at the Dramafest in Halifax, I got first hand experience of how much more energy, focus, patience, and control a drama teacher needs than I’m used to- and I have three sons as well.
Drama teachers need to listen beyond the emotion of the moment for the message. They need to quickly understand the mood, environment, and participants in a group, their needs, and what is needed to make EVERYONE happy.
Pretty darned close. Even this 15 year teacher has lots to learn from his colleagues. Imagine a country?