This Five Minute Exercise Will Make You a Better Teacher in 2019

by | Dec 19, 2018 | ADTA Blog | 0 comments

We do a lot to improve ourselves as teachers: like continuing our education, searching for artistic inspiration, and keeping our own instrument as healthy as possible. That’s great, but are you forgetting one simple exercise that will drastically improve your teaching game this year? Are you forgetting to REFLECT? Don’t risk getting in a rut and facing the same challenges year after year. Take five minutes to complete a simple exercise and make teaching easier for yourself in 2019! I want to tell you a quick story: Last season, I choreographed one particular acro routine that I was struggling with: it was taking forever to clean, and I wasn’t happy with some of the artistic elements. It ended up looking just fine, but after all was said and done, I know I could have made the process easier on myself and my dancers. So I whipped out my journal and took five minutes to write down the problems I faced with the routine, as well as solutions to those problems. From this exercise, I came up with a few simple strategies for making choreography easier in the future. For example, I learned that I want to finish teaching choreography to my students earlier in the year, to give them a sense of accountability (“we’re moving on next week, so you’ll have to review what we learned at home to stay on top of it!”) and to give myself more time for cleaning. I also learned that pre-planning too much of the routine was actually working against me and my creativity; that “going with the flow” resulted in more artistic and unique ideas. Fast forward to this dance season: I implemented these two concepts, and it’s been great for myself and my dancers. It’s not like I came up with anything groundbreaking, but by zoning in on my “pain points” and addressing them directly, it makes sense that my routines are just going smoother! The start of a new year is the perfect time to spend a few minutes reflecting. So, here’s what I want you to do:
  1. Grab a journal, post-it note, or scrap piece of paper.
  2. Write down the three biggest teaching challenges you faced in 2018 – you can choose to focus on a specific routine, class, or project (like I did) or keep it general.
  3. Think of a simple solution to each problem that you can easily apply in the studio this year.
Then, watch you and your students FLY in 2019!
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