By Mick Jensen
Ashburton College old boy Jack Hanrahan is back in class, but this time he’s up front and leading the way.
The 22-year-old started as a new drama and dance teacher last week.
The former St Joseph’s School pupil spent five years at Ashburton College (2010-2014) before heading off to complete a Bachelor in Performing Arts at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) in Christchurch.
He completed a teaching qualification last year at the New Zealand Graduate School of Education and the return to his old school is his first teaching job.
“I never thought I’d come back to Ashburton College, if I’m honest.
“Not too much has changed since I left and a number of familiar faces are still there,” he said.
Jack said entering the staff room for the first time had been a “surreal experience”.
His teaching workload involves introducing basic drama techniques to students in Years 9-11 and encouraging them to develop an enthusiasm for the subject.
He will work on more serious aspects of drama, including scripts, with students studying the subject at NCEA level.
Jack said he was enjoying having his own classes, his own students and introducing his own style of teaching.
“I aim to encourage a ‘have-a-go’ attitude with all students and will point out that nothing is ever perfect and that there is always room for change and improvement.
“With drama and dance there are always new ways to do things and different interpretations.”
Jack is no stranger to performing himself.
He sang with the college’s senior choir, the Phoenix Chorus, and has performed with Mid Canterbury Children’s Theatre, Variety Theatre Ashburton and other groups.
“While I was at NASDA I decided that I’d quite liked to get into teaching.
“And while I’d like to make performing my main job one day, for now I am very happy to refine and evolve my own craft by teaching and learning from others.”