Advocacy is at the heart of any successful drama program. Your administration needs to know that you are doing valuable and important work in your classroom, and that you, your students, and your program needs to be supported. Don’t assume your administration automatically believes what you do is worthwhile. You have to be the biggest cheerleader and advocate for your program.
1. Use arts statistics. Show the numbers. How do students involved in the arts do on SATs?
2. Use advocacy quotes. Turn those quotes into posters, make it visual.
3. Have a mission statement. Make it brief, catchy, memorable, and then repeat it.
4. Use admin speak. Describe your activities in terms of 21st century skills.
5. Highlight school board initiatives. Show how your program applies school board goals.
6. Identify your admin’s background. Is it sports? Put theatre into their language.
7. Invite your admin into the classroom. Many admins don’t understand drama.
8. Invite your admin to see different projects. Show that you wear multiple hats.
9. Use support material. Have a one page handout just for admin in their language.
10. Be persistent. Admin too busy? Video an activity, copy an assignment, send it to them.
11. Invite your admin to do a walk on part. Show your admin the hard work your students do.
12. Do you win awards? Ask for a trophy case! Sports has them, so should drama.
13. Share successes. If a struggling student is finding success in your class, share it.
14. Have others do the talking. Get parents/students to talk about the value of your program.
15. Go cross-curricular. Can you work with other departments on a project?
16. Be cross-curricular. Show how theatre activities apply to other subjects.
17. Build a community presence. If you’re active in the community, it makes you valuable.
18. Invite the community to you. Have a prominent community member to do a walk on part.
19. Get in front of the school board. Get on the agenda and share your success.
20. Advocate for yourself! Rest & self-care are important so you can be an effective advocate.