Teaching drama can be a challenge, particularly if you’re just starting out. So we asked drama teachers: What are your best tips for new drama teachers?
We’re all in this together
Andrea C. says “Don’t forget, even when you’re the only one in the building, you’re not alone. Literally every teacher was new to this and probably can offer advice because they get it.”
Shelby-Lynn S. suggests “Make ensemble building your first priority in your classes and rehearsals.”
Brian B. says “Build community from day one. Connect the students to each other, the program to the school, the productions to an audience. Every decision should be based on how does it build connections. That’s how you build an educationally, creatively, and administratively sustainable program.”
Put your hand up
Ashley S. says “Theatre teachers wear a lot of hats and you have to have knowledge in a lot of different areas. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and does not make you a burden. You don’t need to know everything, you will learn little by little and you will eventually feel confident as a theatre teacher.”
Heather C. says “Ask for help. Take a day off. Learn to say no. Pick your battles. Have fun with the kids. Remember that you’ll be remembered.”
Rachel R. suggests “Listen to your actors once in a while. You’ll often be pleasantly surprised at what they bring to the stage when given the chance.”
Take it one step at at time
From Twitter: “Start simply. Plan lessons properly and record what works and what doesn’t.”
Sara B. says “Tackle one artistic/educational goal at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Pass on perfection
Dan P. says “You’re going to make mistakes and feel like a fraud for a while. One day it’ll click”
From Instagram: “The first 6 months don’t count. Make all the mistakes you want and don’t worry about them.”
Jeff P. says “Embrace silliness.”
Elzabeth J. suggests “Always wear a cape. And always speak as if you were reciting Shakespeare.”
Keep the passion
Shannon B. says “You better be real passionate about your craft, the art of teaching & the students you teach – because you could make a lot more money & work a lot less time waiting tables.? Make the most of your grand opportunity to teach drama and don’t forget to make it fun for YOU! Allow the students the priceless opportunity to witness your joy & hopefully you will inspire them to join you in your passion for the arts!”
Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
Elizabeth G. says “Take the time for you and your students to openly & respectfully listen to one another.”
From Twitter: “Take time for your self, friends and family!”
Bekah S. suggests “Don’t compare. Do you.”
From Twitter: “Remember to breathe and to take your breaks! Show students and parents that boundaries are a necessity. Be most important….. have fun and laugh!!”Need some more help? Click here for our free New Drama Teacher Toolkit!