Christa's Story

The DTA has something for everyone. It is as valuable for new teachers as it is for veterans. New teachers will find everything they need to help them feel as prepared and confident as possible. Mid or late career teachers can find value in refreshing their knowledge and learning new ways to approach content. And there is of course plenty of new content to learn.

What led you to becoming a drama teacher?

After college, I started working as a part-time theatre teacher at a large public school. And honestly, I simply accepted the position as a way to give myself time to explore what I wanted to do with my theatre degree. I wasn't interested in moving to a bigger city to work professionally as a performer or director, but I wasn't yet sure what I wanted to do 'instead'. Sometime during my second year, that teaching job transformed into the beginning of a long career. It was during that second year that I discovered teaching was what I would be doing with my theatre degree!

What brought you to the Drama Teacher Academy Community?

I am an OG! I joined in August of 2014. My interest was piqued simply because Drama Teacher Academy was something new, and it had Lindsay Price's name connected to it. I directed one of her shows 10 years prior, and my students and I had such a positive experience with it. So I was curious about the new adventure. Well into my teaching career at that point, I was drawn to the idea of a new community and new resources.

What do you use most in the DTA? How has it helped you?

Throughout the years I have most used the PLCs and PD courses. The PLCs are helpful because they require me to reflect on my own practice and encourage me to learn from others during the focused discussions. And an incredible feature of the live PLCs is that they are recorded and available for replay starting the next day. The PD courses are self-paced, repeatable, and pausable.

I love learning and the courses allow me to do so at my own pace. In terms of specifics, the DTA resources that are adapted and embedded in my curriculum are Laban: Advanced Characterization, The Empathetic Classroom/The Empathy Project, and Decolonizing Monologues. These, as well as many other resources, have helped update, clarify, and strengthen the work in my classroom.

What kinds of success have you seen in the classroom using DTA material?

My students...
1. are better able to jump in and work in any group configuration instead of only wanting to work with their friend group.
2. enjoy writing and performing their own monologues.
3. are more able to get out of their head and into their body while developing characters.
4. are open to trying new things with me as I learn from the DTA!

What would you say to other teachers thinking about joining the DTA?

The DTA has something for everyone. It is as valuable for new teachers as it is for veterans. New teachers will find everything they need to help them feel as prepared and confident as possible. The DTA has New Teacher Toolkits with everything from curriculum, lesson plans, classroom management courses, and more. Mid or late career teachers can find value in refreshing their knowledge and learning new ways to approach content. And there is of course plenty of new content to learn. It doesn't matter how long I have been teaching, I don't know everything! And the icing on the cake is the DTA Facebook group. It is a welcoming one where teachers of all experience levels come to build community and share ideas, concerns, and solutions. The DTA is a worthwhile investment from every angle.

A photo of Jessica M.
Jessica M.
Middle School Drama Teacher
I honestly can't remember a time that I was teaching when I wasn't part of DTA. I've been teaching longer than it's been around, but it's just part of my daily network and routines- so I can't imagine a time without it.
Thank You,
Jessica
A photo of Amy P.
Amy P.
High School Drama Teacher
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.
Thank You,
Amy
A photo of Roxane C.
Roxane C.
High School Drama Teacher
Being part of DTA means that feeling of *not* being alone in your own little isolated bubble. The website is super user-friendly. I love having the ability to build 'my stuff' on the website, so I have my little collections of curriculum and resources to draw on when I need them.
Thank You,
Roxane
A photo of Jane M.
Jane M.
High School Drama Teacher
I had been a devoted user and follower of Theatrefolk, so when I heard about the DTA, I was IN! It became my saving grace, my connection to other theatre teachers, and really my imaginary colleague. Because the lesson plans are so thoughtfully and thoroughly crafted, I am able to create clear scope and sequence in my curriculum mapping. That focus allows me to teach with more joy and freedom because I have a solid foundation beneath me.
Thank You,
Jane

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