Being a member of the DTA provides a community that we often don't have in our schools. Most theatre teachers are 'one person shows' - we are the only theatre teacher in our school. DTA creates a community, a support group that shares ideas, concerns and strategies.
When I entered college, being a theatre teacher was nowhere on my radar. I had done theatre in high school, but thought I would become a journalist or mathematician. Then, my former theatre teacher asked me to help student direct a community show, and at auditions, I realized how much I had missed the buzz of energy in the room, the collaboration, the community. I realized that my passion was theatre. I could not do without it, and I wanted to do it every day, not as an actress, but as a teacher, where I could create every day with young people and possible ignite a passion like mine.
When I started a theatre program in a brand new school, I created a mission statement with my students and posted about it on Facebook. That was right around the time that Lindsay and Craig were creating DTA, I think, and they contacted me to see if I would create a course and discuss it on their podcast. I had never done anything like that and was excited and honored to do it. That experience expanded my theatre community beyond North Alabama. I 'met' teachers from across the world, teachers with more experience and teachers with less, and we could all learn from each other. Lindsay and Craig gave me a free membership for teaching the Mission Possible course, and when that ran out, I paid out of my pocket to become a member. I've been a member ever since (and am grateful that my school pays for it now!)
I use the lesson plans and Facebook group, and the PLC's are incredibly unique for theatre teachers. Even if we can find lesson plans and Facebook groups online, I've never seen PLC's anywhere else.
Everything creates a community that we often don't have in our schools. Most theatre teachers are 'one person shows' - we are the only theatre teacher in our school. DTA creates a community, a support group that shares ideas, concerns and strategies.
I use DTA ideas the most when I teach scene study and playwriting. Years ago, when I considered creating a commedia dell'arte piece, DTA was the first place I looked. The DTA course gave me a foundation, a language, and confidence to take on the challenge. Later I partnered with a local university professor who echoed a lot of what I had learned in the DTA course.
DO IT. It is the first thing I suggest to new teachers or teachers who come to me for advice. I've been teaching for 25 years and am the oldest theatre teacher in my district. I am viewed as a mentor, but I am still learning thanks to DTA.