Forum: Teaching Assistants

Student Teacher help!
By Freckleful49
On Wed Jan 01, 2014 04:11 PM
Edited by Freckleful49 (263735) on 2014-01-01 16:12:38
Moved to Teaching Assistants by hummingbird (128773) on 2014-01-01 19:40:15 This really isn't a girls and guys PG thing, ask the other teachers and teachers assistants on the boards how they might be able to help you.

Back Story: I am a 16 year old girl who has been through a lot which has molded into who I am today. I am a student dance instructor at my study and am also a choreographer for our studio's company. I am the oldest student at my studio and have been dancing there for almost 8 years. My schedule is crazy; school for seven hours, and the dance (every day except sunday) for five hours after. I am a total introvert, and have major social anxiety which is one reason why I am so stressed.

Lately, I have been putting in a lot more assisting hours at the studio and the other girls who are in high school have been very snooty about it. Making remarks about how I am the studio favorite and like wise information. The owner of the studio has a complete system for who gets what that has worked very well in the past.

In August I started a new large group number with the company, co-choreographing with the owner, and am being allowed my own place in the dance (owner's decision as well). About four weeks ago, the owner was judging at a competition so I was in charge of running that practice. When we were reviewing the steps about four of the girls completely ignored me and just started talking. When I asked them to join us in the review one of them replied "You aren't our teacher." (there was a team mom supervising the practice, but just ignored the statement.)

While that is totally true, it really urged me. The owner had specifically put me in charge and they think because I am a student as well as an instructor they can disrespect me. I talked to the owner and she explained it was just jealousy. Ever since then, most of the teen company member have shunned me out and joining in the remarks.

I am not sure how to approach this and I wish that they could respect my role as a student teacher. I need advice, criticism, and whatever else you can tell me. I realize that they also have a point that I am not their teacher and understand why they are frustrated at me. Please help!

4 Replies to Student Teacher help!

re: Student Teacher help!
By RifleBuddy
On Wed Jan 01, 2014 07:26 PM
If I were in your place, I'd talk about this with your teacher/owner. She can give you some pointers about class management. Also, she needs to know what's going on - it sounds like perhaps her communication with your peers about your position hasn't been as clear as it could have been. In your peers' eyes, it could seem like your owner IS in fact playing favourites. It will also give her a chance to discuss rehearsal expectations.

As an instructor, I have left one of my senior girls in charge of rehearsal on occasions where I wasn't able to be there. She was the team captain, and during captain selections, I told the team about qualities I was looking for. We also talk about rehearsal expectations, and I would be furious if my girls choose to behave so disrespectful and would certainly want to know.

Don't get discouraged - you should be proud of yourself that your teachers are so confident in your abilities. Best of luck!
re: Student Teacher help!
By stargaze
On Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:11 PM
You sound like a mature teenager handling a tough position…definitely jealousy. I agree, you should tell the SO and have a conversation with her about this. Very important to hash out the details of your position with the SO who gave it to you and it is also important that the SO stand by you in front of the student body, especially those you are leading. Obviously, the SO sees potential in you…do not shy away from your new role. It's tough, but it is also a learning curve. You will develop tremendous knowledge in your new role and if you plan on teaching dance as a career, consider this your first of many challenges. Good luck…hold your head high and continue to develop your teaching skills!!
re: Student Teacher help!
By x0oashley0ox
On Fri Jan 03, 2014 08:01 AM
First of all, don't get discouraged. When the teacher is gone, students always act up. Think of substitutes in school! You've earned your place as an assistant and choreographer. I went through a VERY similar experience that lasted until my junior year of college! It's a difficult transition for students to accept. You have gone from a peer to a figure that they are expected to show respect and listen to.

I would talk to your teacher/director about the issue. If that doesn't help, you need to address the issue yourself. Make sure that there is another adult in the room so that your words aren't taken out of context etc. Explain to the girls that although it may be difficult, you are in charge when the main teacher is not there. Make examples of the girls that have been listening or those that are standing out positively in class. I had also gone so far as to move the "trouble makers" to the back of the formation, apart from one another, etc.

It's a difficult situation. I promise it will get better and you will become a strong teacher! Hang in there!
re: Student Teacher help!
By BreaMae91
On Sun Jan 05, 2014 01:41 PM
Edited by BreaMae91 (252950) on 2014-01-05 13:45:27
Reading through your post it sounds like you've already discussed this with your studio owner. However, I would discuss it again, and again, and AGAIN with the owner until something is done about this. I understand that it is probably just a result of jealousy and teenage rebellion, but this type of behavior is still unacceptable, and you do not deserve to be treated in this manner. Explain to the studio owner that you are grateful for the opportunity to teach/choreograph and would like to continue, but you do not appreciate the disrespect and rudeness that you are receiving from some of the other girls. Let her know that some sort of consequences need to take place, or you will be unable to continue teaching.

I know it's a sucky ultimatium to give, but from what I'm understanding (and correct me if I'm wrong!) your studio owner doesn't seem too bothered by this...even though she should be! Perhaps if you let her know how much this truly bothers you she will take the initiative to do something about it.

If all else fails as your studio owner if you have permission to dismiss them from class if they are going to act like that. Why waste your time and energy on the disrespectful girls when you can focus on those who are actually going to listen and want to learn? I'm typically not an advocate of kicking students out of class, but I think that's because I mainly teach toddlers, preschoolers, and young school aged children who don't always know better. High school students know very well what is right from wrong though! If they choose to act like disrespectful jerks they are doing so knowing it is the wrong thing to do. Good luck!


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