Make a Career out of Acting or Drama
As a drama teacher, you’ll bring your passion for acting to the classroom, introducing students to the creativity and excitement of drama class. Drama teachers tend to find their classrooms are upbeat, energized atmospheres – in many cases, with few behavioral issues.
Drama teachers get to be at their most creative, and may teach everything from improv, to staging, to dramatic recital, as well as lighting, costuming, and music and production. Depending on the age of your students, you might: explore line readings and character development; cast, block and direct productions; produce short plays and skits; oversee the writing of scripts or buy scripts; teach tech, lighting and sound; and be involved in makeup and costume design.
A drama or theater teacher who works in middle school (junior high) or high school will probably work with full-length or more complex productions, while an elementary school drama teacher usually runs extracurricular or “one-time” productions, working in several different schools within one district.
Drama teachers are paid on par with other educators; a 2009 survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that drama teachers claim a salary range of $43,194 to $57,731 per year. Where the drama teacher’s salary fell was dependent upon several factors, including their highest level of education, their teaching location, their years of experience, and the scope of their theater program.
If you are interested in a career in education at the primary or secondary school levels, you’ll need a bachelor's degree, teacher training and a teaching certificate. To teach at the college level, you’ll also need a master’s degree and possibly a doctorate degree, as well. A bachelor's or master's degree in performing arts will help give you a strong base to teach at all levels. It may also broaden your career options to have some training in music, dance, costuming and other aspects of drama and theater.
Teaching drama involves a great deal more than just guiding children to recite lines. The role of a drama teacher includes inspiring and encouraging students to seek their own inspiration, to develop their confidence, to speak and present themselves with a level of polish and poise, and to help them better appreciate many aspects of the dramatic arts.