Drama teachers assist students with putting on theatre productions. This includes teaching students how to create characters and scenes in front of an audience and constructing set designs. Typically, drama teachers teach in schools in grades K-12. More often than not, drama teachers are amateur or experienced actors themselves. Before teaching in a classroom setting, you are required to get an undergraduate degree in drama or a related subject and a minor in education. In addition, you'll need to obtain a teaching license in your state.
- Skill level:
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Major in acting, theatre, English or drama. Acting majors train to perform in front of audiences. Theatre majors study all phases of producing a play. English majors learn the principles of language composition and study literary works.
Participate in summer theatre. Performing in summer productions is one way a future drama teacher can see firsthand how plays are produce. Drama students gain valuable hands-on experience working with actors, directors, set builders and lighting crews in summer and community theatre groups.
Minor in education. Most states require teachers to have completed a college education that has prepared them to teach students in a classroom. Also, most states mandate that students complete a certain number of hours inside the classroom before they can teach on their own.
Complete your student teacher training in a high school. Potential drama instructors may have an opportunity to supervise students as they study Shakespeare or paint backdrops for an upcoming production. Many states require future drama teachers to complete around six months of student teaching before receiving their teaching license.
Apply to teach drama in schools around your area. Send out your resume to numerous school districts highlighting your education, experience and qualifications to teach drama. Approach school principals and administrators about developing a drama department in their school if they don't have one in place already. Consider teaching in another field (English or music) and volunteer to run a small drama group after school. Use this time to demonstrate that the students and school could benefit from having a drama department full time.
Tips and warnings
- Admission to acting, drama or theatre courses and productions require separate auditions. Prepare in advance to have your skills and talents evaluated by directors and other actors. Learn as much as possible from their critiques and advice and use it to assist yourself in teaching/preparing your own students to be entertainers.
- If you live in a small rural area, landing your dream job as a drama teacher may require you to relocate to bigger cities where schools have access to larger funds to keep drama in the curriculum.
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