Teaching Insights

Since I was sixteen years old I have been fortunate enough to Teach dance at my local studio in my hometown. Just a few weeks ago I was luckily enough to be offered a teaching position here in Erie, Pa where I am attending college. To be able to teach weekly is most definitely one of my high lights of the week. Although I do get paid it does not seem like a job. Three times a week I get to teach to children ages 3-16 depending on the class and I could not be happier. Overall each class you have to look at differently. I would obviously not expect my younger kids to behave like my older kids during class. With this information you must keep an open mind when teaching children to make sure they are always participating and having fun. Although I am pursuing a career in dance, most likely the only one or two of the kids I am teaching will decide to make this a career.

Knowing what kind of students that you are teaching is the first place to start. Some kids are completely visual learns while others are more hands on. Teaching Acro is rather difficult to someone who is more hands on since they physically have to do the motion prior to them trying to do the motion. Meaning you physically have to spot and put there body where it needs to go in order for them to realize what they need to do. Visual learns are the ideal Acro student. A student who can watch what others are doing in the class and completely just follow along. As dancers we typically are visual learners and this is extremely helpful when learning new steps or choreography.

Once you know your students learning habits you need to make a lesson plan. To think how to incorporate all forms of learning in to one method of teaching is rather difficult. For my younger students I do as much as I physically can demonstrate for them to visually see me as well as physically correcting them as much as possible. I also state each step and have them repeat the step to me for my oral learners. This is typical the most ideal way to teach any age group since it is tackling each form of learning possible.

Once you have realized how you are going to teach them you then need a lesson plan. Your goals for the semester and year as well as each class. Break up the steps. Besides giving goals for you to teach also give your students goals. Tell them positive reinforcement and giving them a goal to be able to execute a step by Christmas means that they will try harder knowing that you believe in them. Depending on the age group they also can make goals for the classroom.

Overall these are just a few things I have learned over my years of teaching dance. Do you have any ideas or thoughts?


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