Drama teachers, we know you are going THROUGH it.
We’re not going to list the stresses and frustrations and troubles because we all know it, we’ve experienced it (or are currently experiencing it), and there’s no point in re-hashing it.
We’re also not going to do a 180 into toxic positivity either. The whole “believe in yourself — you can do anything!” and “teachers are so resilient!” and “teachers are heroes without capes!” is great, but sometimes rings a bit hollow. Yes, you can do anything. Yes, you are resilient. And yes, you are a hero. And if you want to wear the cape, who’s going to stop you? You’re a drama teacher; wear the cape if it makes you happy.
We’re here to say: We see you. We hear you. We are with you.
We are currently living in impossible times. Teaching is HARD. The burnout is real.
But you matter. Your drama program matters. The work you do matters. Your skills, knowledge, and talents are needed. Your efforts are appreciated. We see you figuring out lessons, “pivoting” every other day, putting in the hours, being there for your students. We believe in you and we see how hard you’re working to make things function. You are doing a good job.
Your students may not say it aloud, but they appreciate the work you’re doing. (If not right now, maybe someday when they look back on things.) Your class might be the only reason a student comes to school. Your class might be the only thing a student has to look forward to in an otherwise crappy day. Your students need the creative outlet that drama class provides. They need the opportunity to think differently, to express themselves, to move in new and different ways. And they can see that you are doing a good job.
It is so important right now to keep yourself afloat, to “put on your own oxygen mask first,” as they say. Please take care of yourself. Your program may not look like what it used to. (Teaching in person and online at the same time with an unpredictable number of students each day in the middle of a pandemic will do that.) It is ok to make decisions that make your life easier. Whether that means choosing a simpler curriculum, using pre-made lesson plans, asking for help, delegating, reducing, or eliminating — do what you need to do to make it work. If you need a permission slip, here it is. You are empowered to make the decisions you need to make. (And by the way, you’re doing a good job.)
We here at Theatrefolk are giving you a standing ovation. We’re here for you, and we are proud of you. We see drama teachers working so hard every day to keep giving everything they’ve got to their students, and we will continue to provide support, a community, and quality content to you. We see you. We hear you. We are with you.
And please don’t forget — you’re doing a good job.