International College Hong Kong

Liam Greenall

Director of Creativity: Cross-School, Head of The Performing and Visual Arts

Why did you want to become a teacher?

From playing ‘school’ with my primary school friends to teaching dance from my mid-teens, ‘teaching’ has been an inherent part of who I am. To do it professionally, now in my adult life, is a privilege and the reason why I continue to do it is because a part of me would be lost if I was not teaching in some shape or form.

What is your first memory from school?

Being British, winters are cold back in the UK, and most primary schools had a cloakroom to store coats and jackets. On my first day at primary school my hook in the Reception Class cloakroom had a label on it that said ‘Liam the Lion’, with a picture of a lion in all its fierce glory. I remember the lines, colours and details of the lion and the neat penmanship of Mrs. Wade’s writing on the label. Each morning it taught me to be neat… and fierce! Only one of those traits I’ve managed to keep.

What makes a ‘good day’ at school?

When 7.1 have taken a trip to Pluto and found new life forms with eight legs and three brains and then 8.2 become queens and kings of a new country they have just discovered. Then 9.3 work on a murder mystery and create scenes full of tension and atmosphere and scare everyone else in the drama studio. Never two days are the same in the life of a drama teacher and that is what makes the job magical!

If I walked into your classroom on a typical afternoon, what would I see going on?

Blood, sweat and tears - both literally and metaphorically!

What’s the funniest thing a child has ever said to you?

‘You’re my teacher? You look like a student!’ - Trust me, those days are long gone!

What are your “trapped on a desert island” books or movies?

A few poetry anthologies, a notebook to write in and the Pedro Almodovar box-set.

What is the hardest thing about being a teacher?

Resources - the lack of them. As a theatre kid you learn to beg, steal, borrow and transform. These tools have equipped my teaching practice and tools I instill in my theatre students. Ask any ICHK theatre student ‘name 100 things you can do with a brick’ and I am sure you would get a practical demonstration with choreography, stylized movement, poetic language and a whole range of creative drama conventions to show you 100 innovative and inventive things you can do with a brick.

What inspires you?

I’m a bibliophile, so books are my go to place when seeking ideas and inspiration, alongside other printed matter, voyages, live theatre and moving images.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Getting an education and continuing to love learning.

What would the students be surprised to find out about you?

No comment!

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