When I decided to pursue my Masters degree, I had a few requirements for the program that I wanted to attend: strong teachers, variety of class offerings and strong employment opportunities for life post-graduate school. Emerson College ticked off all of those boxes, and then some. I have always been someone who enjoys being involved, whether it was serving on multiple committees, stage managing an after school performance, or even working while attending school. The great thing about Emerson is that it continued to allow me to be actively involved in things other than just pursuing my Masters in Theatre Education. I was able to serve on the Theatre Education Graduate Association (TEGA) board, which gave me the opportunity to be a leader for my graduate cohort and plan events and workshops for my fellow Theatre Ed grad students. I also was able to audition for and act in the NewFest Shorts in the spring of 2017, as well as the Rogue Festival that was done in the Fall of 2016. On top of these two things, I was able to maintain a job while completing my Masters. This, above all, was the most important thing to me about Emerson.
The Theatre Ed program is designed so that if you need to maintain a day job, you can still easily take classes at the College and not feel like you’re falling behind your fellow grad students. I began by working at the College’s Center for Health and Wellness, but in my last months of the program, I actually got a full time teaching job in Plymouth, MA. This job came about when Bob Colby, my advisor in the program, encouraged me to interview for the position of the 6th and 8th grade dance and theatre teacher at Rising Tide Charter Public School. I was nervous going into it, but Emerson had fully prepared me for taking on this next step in my life! I am not going to lie, it was definitely challenging at times, but the support that I received from not only Bob, but also the fellow Emersonian grads that I was working with at the school (there are a lot of us out there!) was overwhelming. I knew I had a family that I could fall back on when I felt like I was getting in over my head. Getting to classes after a full day of work was tough some days, but the subject matter and enthusiasm from the professors made it so incredibly easy to stay engaged! The material taught to you is constantly evolving to keep up with what is going on in the world of education, and each professor makes sure to relate it to what you are currently doing in your classroom.
During my time at Emerson College, I learned a lot about what it takes to be a teacher in this crazy world we live in, but I also learned the value in making connections with the people around you. You can get through this life alone, but having that network of support that you can fall back on from time to time is invaluable!
About the Author
Ryann is a recent graduate of the Theatre Ed program at Emerson College! Originally from Carmel, IN, she has made Boston her new home. During her time at Emerson, Ryann was a member of the Theatre Education Graduate Association board and also was involved in the Emerson NewFest productions in 2017. While finishing her degree, Ryann began teaching at Rising Tide Charter Public School in Plymouth, MA, where she is still currently teaching 6th and 8th grade dance and theater.