It is time. I have kept this to myself (minus the few people I told, my parents, friends, etc), but now since the school board has mentioned it publicly I can speak.
In December I was informed that the School Board has added the Theatre curriculum to the list of things they want to cut. I’m #23 on a list of about 45. When I was told about this, they asked, “Are you ok?” And I am, I knew picking Theatre Education would be a hard career path to keep, but I thought if I could survive my college making it near impossible to graduate with a Theatre and Education double major, I could survive fighting for a theatre curriculum in schools. Even though I was officially added to the list this winter, I’ve always been figuratively on the list; sadly the arts are the first things to go in schools when they should be the last.
Now, as I have been told, being on the list doesn’t mean I will automatically get cut. The FACE dept. in the middle schools have been on the list for ten years and they just hired a new teacher this year.
As of this past working School Board meeting, the theatre classes were brought up, and Dr. Means told them that without a theatre dept. we stop being Homestead and start being every other school in the area, we will no longer be a cut above the rest or a reason for people to send their students to the schools. So we have administration fighting for the classes, but it will be up to the School Board. Do not fret, we will still have theatre classes next year, but after that it’s all up in the air.
What does this mean? It means we need to tell our community what Theatre and specifically what the Theatre Classes mean to us. I am just the teacher whose job is at stake, no one will listen to me. If you like taking One Act and Theatre Production Seminar then you have to speak up. I mean Acting 1, Acting 2 and Tech Theatre are also fun and helpful classes to take as well. We are the only Public school in the area with a full theatre curriculum and I think we should stay that way.
If you have never taken a theatre class, don’t worry, the after school plays aren’t being cut, so if they do cut the classes, you will still be able to participate in the plays. It’s just not the same thing. Theatre develops skills the core classes can’t; on the most basic level theatre teaches social independence, common sense (something we have lost these past years of teaching) empathy for others. It also helps students with their speech and literacy skills. I could go on for days how theatre classes help students in every day life, but we’d be here for awhile.
This post is to just inform everyone what is going on, so if the cut happens, we all won’t be blindsided. Take this knowledge and do with it as you will. Talking nicely to people always helps. Thank you for allowing me to work with you for these past 4 years with hopefully 20 more to come.