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Follow a day in the life of a fictional theatre educator to learn how EdTA's Learning Center can support educators in every aspect of their work; from professional development to instructional materials. EdTA's Learning Center raises the bar through an online suite of resources offering standards-based curricula, K-12 lesson plans, live and on-demand webinars, and much more; and it is all free as a part of EdTA Membership. New materials are added regularly for use in class, backstage and onstage, creating an ever-evolving catalog.

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A Day in the Life of an Educator with EdTA's Learning Center


7 a.m.: Prep for sub

I arrive at school early to prep my room for the sub who will be with my class while I participate in professional development (PD). Luckily, I used the Learning Center last night to download the archetypes lesson plan — perfect for the sub. 

7:30 a.m.: Attend department meeting

The Arts integration group meeting starts. We've been working as a PLC group as a part of a new whole child initiative in our district, and we spend the first 30 minutes of each day in plan time together.  

Our chair leads us through the Learning Center mini course “Looking at Student Work.” We will be adopting an arts integrated model cornerstone assessment into our curriculum and this is a great introduction.  

I'm a member of EdTA, so all I had to do was sign in with my member information.  

Some on our team are not members, but I think after today they will be impressed enough to join.

Our chair spends some time showing them how to register as a guest and take the course, and we talk about the implications for a cross-curricular unit.  

I write down the instructions in case I want to use this mini course with some of my students who are not Thespians.  

My students who are Thespians can log right in—such a benefit! 

Looking at Student Work

A mini course.

Login instructions for non-members

1. Go to "Looking at Student Work" mini course on EdTA's Learning Center (scroll down to "Courses"). Just click on the name or go directly to https://learn.schooltheatre.org/products/looking-at-student-work-mini-course.

2. Click on "Register."

3. Click on "Create an Account" and fill in the form.

4.  Go back to https://learn.schooltheatre.org/products/looking-at-student-work-mini-course. Now you are all set! 

8:30 a.m.: Go to PD session in the cafeteria

Time for the district PD gathering in the cafeteria. This year the arts educators will be allowed to access online learning in a self-paced session. Everyone chooses a webinar to match their needs, then begins to work on a curriculum based unit inspired by what they have learned. I choose "Developing Student Stage Managers" from EdTA's Learning Center. I love the article on stage management from dramatics.org, so I bookmark it to use with my students. I make a note to go check out www.dramatics.org for materials for my next unit, this online gem speaks directly to my students and they love it when I pull materials to incorporate into my lessons.  I sometimes use the quizzes as a fun starter for a Thespian troupe meeting.  My principal really loves that our school can honor our hard working Theatre students through the Thespian program; and EdTA makes it so easy with their abundance of support materials.  Professional learning for me and Thespian guidance for my troupe; all a part of my membership in EdTA. In my last review we focused on the Professional Practice domain of Danielsen and I nailed it due to my active participation in the Learning Center's professional learning opportunities AND the great communications system I set up for our parents based on my Thespian troupe procedures.  This year my school district is actually paying my EdTA membership fee as a professional development support.  Win! Win! 

10:30 a.m.: Begin planning new curriculum unit

I'm interested in providing my students with school-to-work connections in the next curriculum unit I write. "Developing Student Stage Managers" turns out to be perfect.  This lesson makes such strong connections which are especially important for my Career and Technical Education studentsIt's an on-demand webinar by equity stage manager Cheryl Williams showing how to get students involved in leadership roles as tech support for productions. It even bundles an article on stage management from dramatics.org for student engagement. Plus our music teacher sees immediate applications as well, so we are thinking about creating a unit together.  


11:30 a.m.: Download all the handouts

The model unit I downloaded gives me a great jump start on preparing my curriculum. And the handouts are great. Every production form I need and all in one place!  

In the last few minutes before lunch, I have just enough time to download a copy of the National Theatre Standards from the Resources section of the Learning Center.  

I'm excited to find a theatre glossary — we are really working on building student professional vocabulary, and this will help tremendously. Next I'll be writing the bulk of my unit inspired by the Stage Management Model Cornerstone Assessment from the Learning Center.  


  • Teaching Student Stage Management - A 10 Week Curriculum Map
    This schedule lays out a simple plan for teaching student stage managers in a 10 week semester culminating in the presentation of their stage manager prompt books.

12 p.m.: Break for lunch

Over lunch I can't resist checking the discussion portion of "Looking at Student Work" to see if anyone responded to my comment. I see someone did!


1 p.m.: Get back to work on curriculum development

After break it’s back to work on curriculum development. The Hip Hop musical model cornerstone assessment catches my eye. I love that I can see student work right next to a rubric; helps me imagine how to use the standards. This would make an interesting collaboration with the social studies and music teachers, maybe even get the librarian involved to connect with the existing unit on the use of first person resources. I file that away to bring up in our next PLC meeting. I also love the creative dramatics lesson on Ecosystems in the community share area. This lesson would be perfect for my senior acting students to prepare and take down to the Elementary school. My colleague who teaches third grade will love this one and I'm sure it will be used again and again after my students demonstrate during our Friday afternoon outreach session. 

2:30 p.m.: Finish planning

Almost done with planning my stage management curriculum unit. I intend to ask my students to do a formal presentation of their stage manager's prompt book, and I'm going to use the International Thespian Excellence Awards as a model. These Thespian educational events are an outstanding teaching tool to help a student understand the artistic processes of creating, performing, responding, and connecting in context of an authentic performance task. Plus they make a great school-to-work connection!   

3 p.m.: Prep for Tomorrow's Hybrid Teaching

Just enough time to return to my room and layout tomorrow’s materials — I check my calendar to see that tomorrow is a "virtual instruction day".  Since we began the new hybrid model, my students spend three days a week in the classroom and two days a week learning online with the virtual course work I have created.  I remember how worried I was when my principal first announced this plan, but it has been easy to get started thanks to EdTA's Learning Center. The Learning Center has a series of online curriculum modules -Click to Teach/Click to Learn- that I've been doing with my class. We just started working on the Virtual Light Design assignment as a part of our Tech Theatre Unit.  The beauty of these online courses is that they are all project based and written in student friendly language.  I can send my students there to complete a section for homework, review it together online and then assign the next instructional activity.  I can also use the materials as a textbook and teach directly with them while we are together in an online video conference call.  Or if we need to look at it during one of the in-person days, I can just bring the page up on my Smart Board in class and we are good to go!  Everything is right there on the page- handouts, prompts, standards and a rubric to measure learning. 

I check my google drive to see if all students sent me their reflection questions due after the first reading, pop off an email to one straggler and remind them all to preview the video on the page for class tomorrow.  Whew!  I can leave knowing I am ready for anything.

Thanks, EdTA and the Learning Center, for a great day of support!