How are You?

Part of the series Staffroom Monologues

  Screen capture from How are You?

Summary

Riz Ahmed plays a young primary school teacher sinking under the pressure of work and struggling to keep his emotions in check in How Are You, one of the winners of the 2008 Staffroom Monologues competition.

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This moving play is introduced by competition judge Ashley Pharoah, and features an interview with writer Laura Owen, who explains why she wrote about a young male teacher in a primary school.

Staffroom Monologues is a series of five short plays based on winning scripts from the 2008 competition run by Teachers TV, in association with the National Union of Teachers. Now in its second year, the series offers an alternate view of life in an educational environment, written by those who work within it.

 
 

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Extra materials (2)

Download this document to read the programme subtitles

The script of How Are You? by Laura Owen

Comments (16)

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    • How am I?
      27 October 2010 - 12:37

      This rings all too true for me. Nice to know (sort of?) that I'm not the only one who feels this way about teaching. I'm in my first year teaching, have always wanted to be a teacher, and think I still do... But the school I am at is quite a hostile environment for both teachers and students. I'm handing in my notice this week...

    • NQTs
      5 September 2008 - 02:26

      Dear Wendy, I am so pleased you watched this video to give you an insight to what teaching 24/7 involves and it will be 24/7!
      I hope you bear it in mind when you are staying up all hours of the night planning, marking, assessing, reporting, evaluating etc., because that is what you have to do to succeed, say to yourself, I am going to work until x time and STICK to it.
      Teachers who are still teaching are less conscientious than me, that is why I have stopped teaching for a while; I don't know if I will return yet, can't decide if I can juggle my conscience with a less conscientious input. Good luck.

    • How Are You?
      22 August 2008 - 10:08

      Oh my goodness, please God, don't let this be me in a couple of years time. How perfectly written and performed. This piece went straight to the heart and I found tears trickling down my face by the end. I'm an NQT and will begin to teach my first class in 12 days time, but far from making me quake in my boots, seeing this has reaffirmed my determination to make sure I don't lose myself in the black hole that is the teaching profession. We owe it to our families and loved ones, as well as ourselves to make sure there is something left over at the end of a week. Surely this makes us better teachers anyway? I know I speak from a position of supreme niaivety and perhaps with the arrogance of the inexperienced, and I have a nagging sense that this is a selfish attitiude, that the children deserve everything I can give them, which of course they do. But what use is a burnt out teacher to anyone?

    • How are you?
      21 July 2008 - 05:38

      Oooh, this is soooo painful to watch. Congratulations to the writer and actor, well done, very well delivered. Unfortunately, very true to life. How sad that a young man feels like this, but so true to life. In teaching, you are either working, or thinking about work, worrying about when you can fit the work in, worrying about whether it is right, or trying to catch up, mark, assess or improve yourself in some way to please others! (Not the children, but SMT or HT or HMI or some other body!) Nothing is enough, ever!
      To survive in teaching (yes, just survive), you have to be less conscientious; I know oodles of teachers who do just that; well done you teachers, but I don't fit that mould unfortunately.

    • How Are You
      8 July 2008 - 11:13

      Excellent social commentary on the pressures involved in education and our inability to deal effectively and compassionatley with the casualties of this undoable job which chews young teachers up and spits them out.
      As a school manager I sympathise with the fact that yes..... stressed colleagues going off sick does add to the burden of those colleagues left behind....
      The reality is just as the character stated..... a whole life subsumed into the job because the sad fact is that nobody can meet the unrealistic expectations involved. Everyone is left with the feeling that however much time they devote to the job it is never enough and that constant sense that they they could have done better is so very damaging to staff morale.

    • michaeljdavies michaeljdavies

      (Associate)

      How are you?
      30 June 2008 - 22:42

      This is so impressive...what a SUPER programme. Every head should watch this. I totally agree with Laura. As a male teacher in primary, there are many different pressures we face as male staff and being in a female dominated environment, it is often difficult for us to express ourselves and be understood. Even in a fabulous school where I am, I can see how this programme may benefit a lot of us male staff who can struggle with inner emotions, pressures and stresses which we bury in the demands of the job. - thank you Teachers TV - this is like a Bible to us and long may you continue to explore the avenues to help us understand each others problems!!

    • michaeljdavies michaeljdavies

      (Associate)

      How are you?
      30 June 2008 - 22:42

      This is so impressive...what a SUPER programme. Every head should watch this. I totally agree with Laura. As a male teacher in primary, there are many different pressures we face as male staff and being in a female dominated environment, it is often difficult for us to express ourselves and be understood. Even in a fabulous school where I am, I can see how this programme may benefit a lot of us male staff who can struggle with inner emotions, pressures and stresses which we bury in the demands of the job. - thank you Teachers TV - this is like a Bible to us and long may you continue to explore the avenues to help us understand each others problems!!