Forum: Teaching Assistants

Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By BreaMae91
On Wed Feb 27, 2013 05:33 PM

I am just genuinely curious. I began assisting in classes at the age of thirteen, and I continued until I graduated from high school. All of the assisting I did was purely volunteer, meaning I was paid nothing, but I absolutely loved every minute of it! At the studio that my five younger siblings attend now the assistants are hired employees who are paid. At another studio that I was recently looking into teaching at the assistants are volunteers. However, they do receive a discount on their monthly tuition (I would think that would be more of a reward for their parents though!).

So what about you? If you are an assistant are you compensated for your time? If you are a teacher or studio owner do you pay your assistants? After having more than nine years of experience teaching as both an assistant and actual teacher I have been dabble with the idea of beginning my own studio (though not anytime soon as I'm finishing up school), so I am just curious the different ways I could handle this in the future.

Thanks!

19 Replies to Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?

re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By RosettaPremium member
On Wed Feb 27, 2013 05:45 PM
I was a student assistant from 6th grade-12th grade. It was a volunteer position. However, I did get a small gift an the end of each year from my teacher as a "thank you."
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Wed Feb 27, 2013 06:16 PM
I do not pay my assistants.

They get priority in casting for ballets and special recognition in the program at the show.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By SharonDet
On Wed Feb 27, 2013 08:05 PM
I was never paid to assist but the teacher training I received from all the assisting I did was priceless!
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By Kettricken
On Wed Feb 27, 2013 08:22 PM
I was never paid, but for every class I demonstrated, I was able to take a class of that level or lower for free.
I don't think of it as a benefit for the parents, because I was getting to take a bunch of classes I wouldn't have been able to otherwise, since my parents wouldn't be able to afford all those classes.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By JGrooves
On Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:03 PM
When I was an assistant at the studio that I now work at, we had all of our classes paid for. We had to assist in 9 or so classes a week, so all of our classes were paid for. Also, when we had our end of the year party, we were given gift cards to our favorite restaurant for like $50.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid? (karma: 1)
By Frogdogdance
On Fri Mar 08, 2013 08:53 AM
I'm an SO, and I do not pay my assistants. My assistants are much more than just gophers, though--they are young teachers in training, and they have to take at least 4 hours of training seminars each season that they assist. In these seminars, they learn all sorts of teaching-related things, from how to correct students verbally & with "the magic finger" (just 1 finger), how to use "teacher voice" versus "normal voice," how to work with a syllabus & devise lesson plans for various dance forms, how to deal with potty breaks among young ones, what to do if someone has an emergency in class, how to operate the stereo equipment, etc. They are GETTING an additional education in how to teach dance, while they are volunteering their time. They also get a free assistant T-shirt, which is also their uniform, gifts from me at Christmas & Recital, plus acknowledgement in the program under their class's listing. They're also eligible for the year-end Assistant of the Year awards, which include a big trophy given during a ceremony during the recital, plus a $50 dance scholarship. They get a lot, so no, I don't pay them. They can get paid later, when they've earned the right to teach classes solo.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By J1ll
On Fri Mar 08, 2013 02:42 PM
I did not get paid and now that I run my program I do not pay assistants.
Most people have to pay for the knowledge that I'm giving you for free- don't then ask me to pay you for knowledge you can use your entire life. Can you imagine if students began charging colleges?
I agree with the sentiment that my assistants are teachers in training and I'm there to teach them to teach as much as I'm there to teach the dancers to dance.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By SharonDet
On Fri Mar 08, 2013 07:41 PM
I totally agree with J1LL. I currently pay 50 - 75 bucks an hour on teacher training (and it's well worth it). I am grateful to have gotten my formative teacher training for free by assisting!
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By SarahRodak
On Sat Mar 09, 2013 05:52 PM
I teach at a studio that has sort of a "paid internship" approach to paying the assistants. While they ARE learning from the teacher, the assistants are there to do a job. They get paid very little but it is an honor to be an assistant.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By livelovedance22
On Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:51 PM
I'm an assistant at my studio and we don't get paid, but we do get free classes.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By Rachel_n
On Fri Apr 05, 2013 08:23 PM
I am a teaching assistant for my drill team, and my sisters twirling team. I am not paid, but it is going towards my tuition. I love teaching. My coach moved last week, and she was so stressed out she was making herself sick, so she texted me and told me that I was teaching drill team last Saturday! I loved it. I think if I got paid, it would lose some of the thril of it
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By S_Lizzy_M
On Sat Jun 01, 2013 07:37 PM
I'm payed by the hour and I also get half-off my monthly tuition. In addition, my Spring recital fee is waived, as is my Nutcracker fee.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By theresemarie
On Thu Jun 27, 2013 05:27 AM
Paid with a little bit of money and a lot of experience. I love what I do.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By thedancestar
On Thu Jun 27, 2013 06:40 AM
When I was student teaching I actually had to pay them because we had a class on Saturday mornings that was just the student teachers learning vocab, history, etc and even took quizzes to prepare us to be certified. Then we had to student teach 2 other nights per week. This will be my first year for student teachers at my studio I am not paying them but working it out so they can take more classes that they wouldn't normally be able to take because of money.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By dancerxiv
On Thu Jun 27, 2013 09:35 AM
When I was an assistant I got 50% of all my classes, which looking back was a great deal. Now I offer my assistants private weekly classes in exchange for their help.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By SammyBeth
On Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:42 PM
I did a flat trade class for class. As a teacher that's what I do now and I love it. :)
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By Poppins
On Thu Jun 27, 2013 02:53 PM
I do not pay assistants, but I always buy gifts for holidays, and end of the year/
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By BeckaJ
On Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:36 AM
I am not an assistant, but i know that the older assistants that help my classes do get paid if I am ever away and they need to take over the class, but they only get paid half of what I do.
re: Assitants--do you assist as a volunteer or are you paid?
By Amber_A
On Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:51 PM
Assistants at our school are paid but it's very little (even below minimum wage, I think it's more of a symbolic compensation) but they do get to take two of their own classes for free. I also get my assistant a small gift at the end of the season.

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