Open Forum

Growing Pains

  • 1.  Growing Pains

    Posted 04-10-2019 23:25
    So it's a good problem to have, but it's still a problem and I'm hoping there are other teachers out there that have experienced this and can offer me some advice:

    When I started teaching at my school, the theatre program was on life support.  In five years I have grown the program so much so that we are kind of now bursting at the seams.  

    Like most theatre teachers, I am the only one on my campus.  I have five preps with 3 beginning classes, 1 intermediate, 1 advanced and two levels of CTE tech.  My registration numbers have increased to the point of looking at increasing tech classes to 2 classes, which, of course, impacts the acting classes in various ways.  The numbers are not large enough to warrant hiring another teacher, but are large enough to make life difficult in juggling where the classes will fit in the schedule.  To add to the issue, I have IB students that I've nurtured for many years and they are bound by specific IB classes offered at only certain hours to complete their IB diploma.  Lastly, the stage is my classroom for tech and my auditorium is booked all the time for various events, but mostly in the morning, so a second tech class could become very limited in how I'm able to teach them.  I don't have a separate shop or build space.  Also, adding a second tech class would mean fewer acting classes, which I think would impact the growth of the whole program.

    So if you have any advice for getting through these growing pains in a way that continues to grow the program, so eventually another teacher could be added, that would be great.  I'm a little afraid that it will be too overwhelming and the end result will be a burst bubble instead of a successful program.  

    Thanks in advance.


  • 2.  RE: Growing Pains

    Posted 04-15-2019 11:00
    Hi Jeana, it sounds like you are trying to decide if you should or should not increase your tech classes to two classes, is that right? Because it could help you make the case to hire another staff member in the future?

    From what you describe, I would hesitate to do it without another staff member because it doesn't sound like you have the space available and I would be especially worried about that possibility that it could negatively impact the growth of the program as a whole. I might look for other ways to enhance your tech offerings, outside of the classroom, to keep building student interest. Could you bring in theatre technicians from local professional or community venues to speak about their careers at an after school event? Or maybe they could lead a series of trainings for students during rehearsals? Could you offer it as an online class somehow?

    Is there a college or university with a theatre track near your school that has a dual credit offering for high school students? I do not know too much about it, other than the fact that my cousin is enrolled in a similar program at NKU: Maybe it could work out that your students could take a college theatre tech class and receive high school credit?

    Ginny Butsch
    Community Manager
    Educational Theatre Association
    Alexandria KY