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    Re: questions for theatre arts/speech teachers
    spchtchr

    Welcome to Oklahoma! I have been a speech/theater teacher
    here for 17 years. I think I can answer some of your
    questions:

    > 1. What grade levels usually teach speech/drama?
    In smaller school districts, speech/drama is 9-12, but
    larger districts have speech/drama in 6-8 as well.

    > 2. Are either usually a 1 semester class or a full-year
    > course?
    Depends on the school. We are on trimester and our
    introductory speech course is 1 trimester. Before we went to
    trimester, we had a year a long speech course.

    > 3. How many classes/periods are usually taught in a day?
    If a school is on semesters, it could be a 6 or 7 hour day.
    For block schedules, 3 classes a day and one planning period.
    For trimester, 4 classes a day with a planning period.

    > 4. Does OK do block scheduling for high school?
    Some schools do. Most schools are on the semester plan.

    > 5. What professional association does OK have? (I have done
    > an exhaustive search, but cannot locate one for public
    > school educators)
    OSSAA governs the competitive aspect of speech/theater,
    including the one act play contest and the forensics
    competitions. Oklahoma Speech, Theater, and Communication
    Association is a professional group, but while there are high
    school educators in its ranks, it is mostly aimed at higher
    ed people.

    Overall, I would say the larger the school, the more likely
    you are to be teaching speech and/or theater all day. In
    smaller schools, you're likely to have to teach another core
    subject as well. Most of the time that's English, but I do
    know speech teachers who "fill in" their day with everything
    from social studies to math.

    I will say this is not a great time to be looking for a job.
    With budget cuts in Oklahoma, many schools are cutting back
    on faculty and not replacing teachers who leave. Electives
    are also going to be hit hard as schools look for places to
    trim the fat.

    I don't want to be "Debbie Downer," but it is a reality you
    need to know about if you're coming to our state.