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.
I feel like I was born in the arts! I started dancing when I was three, I went to college for theater and I was really a performer! Something switched somewhere in the midst of my couple of years when I was in college; I started seeing things from a different direction and really liked the vision side, the direction side of it and felt like teaching was more my calling. I was always really in awe of all these other performers and their talent. And I just figured I belonged on the other side.
I am one of the original members! I joined in 2014. When you're looking at like professional development stuff, unless you're in like some sort of a performing arts like high school or some kind of a venue like that, there's no professional development or anything that's geared specifically towards our curriculum. You end up going to these umbrella waste of your time type of scenarios. DTA filled that gap for me. I also love being able to have lesson plans and units and I think I've used pretty much all the different pieces, because those are the kind of tools that you're just not provided with.
When I started teaching in theater (and I think it's pretty typical for most teachers in most one man band or even small type programs), there is no curriculum, there is nothing. So you literally have to build your curriculum from scratch. DTA provides that! Being able to have all of these different tools in the DTA allows teachers to build their toolbox. I feel like it has helped me even to build, refine, find really cool new things to add to my teaching.
I've used some of the professional development, but I've actually used a lot of the unit plans, especially as inspiration. I teach a lot of playwriting - there's that superhero playwriting unit that I have used many times. It's great little whet your appetite, but it's also something that the kids can really wrap their heads around cause they all really like that sort of thing. Other units I have enjoyed are ones like musical theater, a big musical theater unit. And there's a lot of different pieces to that. And one of, like, one of my cool favorite things that I plucked out of DTA was the Musical Theatre museum project which is really cool.
I definitely use the unit plans, and tweak/adapt as I need for my class. I also use the warmup activities and some of the theater games. I also will use the DTA as inspiration if I've build my own unit and then I want to see what the DTA has to offer. As part of that, I feel like the successes is that there was always something that I could pull from it to even enhance what I was doing, rather than just pulling the same old, you know, same old, same old out every year. I feel like there's always something new and exciting to add into in order to freshen it up to make the lesson plan, feel new and have more oomph to it.
I personally think it's, it is a absolutely, positively great tool for everybody. The Facebook community is great because people post things, and you can help other people out. They can help you out just to know that other people are going through the same things that you're going through. Just that feeling of not being alone in your own little isolated bubble is great. And the website is also super user friendly. I love having the ability to build 'my stuff' on the website, so I have my little collections. I highly recommend giving DTA a try!