Forum: General

What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By twnkltoez85
On Fri Apr 10, 2015 03:22 PM

I know, I know nicer parents and people paying their bills.. dig deeper.
Doing some research...
As an instructor, what would make it easier? More enjoyable? What load would be nice to be taken off your back?

Thanks!

23 Replies to What would make your life easier as an Instructor?

re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Fri Apr 10, 2015 03:48 PM
1. If I didn't have parents observing me while I was teaching.
2. If parents picked up their child on time. I have the next class to teach and I can't constantly watch a 5 year old to make sure they don't run out the door!
3. break area for teachers to escape parents/students

More " fun" ballet music, instrumental remakes of pop songs! The teens get tired of classical music and they dance better to none classical songs.
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By DancerGirl05
On Fri Apr 10, 2015 08:34 PM
1. Kids knowing their left from their right (I've even had teens that didn't know either....)
2. Dancers that remember choreography
3. Clean hip hop music that I don't have to spend an hour or more editing...curse you Chris Brown!!
4. A desire from kids to do their personal best. I've found with this younger generation that they are a "give me results now, or I'll just quit to take soccer" mentality. There is no emphasis on hard work or competitiveness with most recreational kids because if you push them too hard, they will get upset and/or just join something where they get a trophy for participating, not necessarily working hard. Biggest pet peeve as a teacher to see lack of passion from students
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By RileyA
On Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:34 PM
Parents not feeding their kids junk food for afternoon tea right before coming to class. Kids are hyper enough without that!
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By hummingbird
On Sat Apr 11, 2015 01:30 PM
4. A desire from kids to do their personal best. I've found with this younger generation that they are a "give me results now, or I'll just quit to take soccer" mentality.


LOL, mine and my studio owners code for that kind of student is STS (should try soccer) The funniest thing is the guy who runs our local soccer program sends his daughter to us, he was commenting on how many airheads there are in the classes and how he might just do us a favour and tell their parents how they had no hope! I replied that we would be sending them his way any way with our STS program!

I'm not sure if he's talking to me any more :D
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Apr 11, 2015 06:32 PM
It'd make my life a lot easier if dance weren't such an emotional affair.

We pour ourselves in to this kind of thing, so when it's rejected, it feels personal, even when it isn't. I had a little girl quit just a few weeks before recital last year, in what was one of the most absurd situations I'd ever been involved in, and it was 110% on the mom, I just got caught in the cross hairs, and still. It felt really personal.

And on the flip side - I've got a kid that will cry if you so much as look at her funny. Forget corrections. Giving her a correction brings the entire class down. It's a class of four - crier, criers older sister (who is on crier like white on rice anytime any emotions are felt, so crier doesn't get the chance to actually process the emotion she's feeling at all.), and two others. So if I correct crier, I lose crier, and her sister! And then the other two are off their game, because the energy in the room has shifted so drastically.

So my job would be easier if there was no emotions. If it was a "just the facts, m'am." type of industry. But alas, it is not.
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Inspire771Premium member
On Sat Apr 11, 2015 07:58 PM
CLEAN MUSIC PLEASE!! Don't these artists know they cut out a HUGE following when you can't use it in a family event--- Dance schools and classrooms share their stuff everywhere-- why limit your exposure due to bad language-- I'm so tired of searching lyrics and looking for hidden meanings.
parents NOT bringing every kid on the block to run around during class..
Parents get your younger kid to stop banging on the viewing glass while I'm trying to keep the class of 20 3 year old attention-- I just wanna throw them in there and lock the door and say " Good luck" and I go bang on the glass.. ugh
manners---- please and thank you
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor? (karma: 2)
By Sumayah
On Sat Apr 11, 2015 09:34 PM
Edited by Sumayah (204191) on 2015-04-11 21:34:42
YumYumDoughnut wrote:

More " fun" ballet music, instrumental remakes of pop songs! The teens get tired of classical music and they dance better to none classical songs.


Girl. Ask and ye shall receive! I got all of these off of iTunes. I regularly use Andrew Holdsworth's "Reimagined for Ballet Class Pop" vol 1 & 2, Christopher N Hobson's "Modern Ballet Studio Melodies Musical Theatre Hits," David Plumpton's "Modern Melodies Inspirational Ballet Class Music" 1 & 2, and the Modern Ballet Class series "Ballet Goes Pop" vol 1 (erm, watch out for tendus... of all the Lily Allen songs to cover... LOL! I played it thinking none of them would pick up on it. "Um... Ms. Suma?" "Yeah?" "Is that what I think it is?" "Shhh."). And then I had one of the moms facebook message me with this link because she knows I like to use popular covers in class (and she knows the kids like it too).
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor? (karma: 1)
By BunlessinSeattle
On Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:05 AM
Sumayah wrote:

YumYumDoughnut wrote:

More " fun" ballet music, instrumental remakes of pop songs! The teens get tired of classical music and they dance better to none classical songs.


Girl. Ask and ye shall receive! I got all of these off of iTunes. I regularly use Andrew Holdsworth's "Reimagined for Ballet Class Pop" vol 1 & 2, Christopher N Hobson's "Modern Ballet Studio Melodies Musical Theatre Hits," David Plumpton's "Modern Melodies Inspirational Ballet Class Music" 1 & 2, and the Modern Ballet Class series "Ballet Goes Pop" vol 1 (erm, watch out for tendus... of all the Lily Allen songs to cover... LOL! I played it thinking none of them would pick up on it. "Um... Ms. Suma?" "Yeah?" "Is that what I think it is?" "Shhh."). And then I had one of the moms facebook message me with this link because she knows I like to use popular covers in class (and she knows the kids like it too).


I personally enjoy having my own little private moment with the Southpark medley for frappes and petite battement that Chris Hobson has.

Thanks for the Gill Civil link!
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Sappersis
On Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:13 AM
No more facebook, instagram, and twitter for students in a class. The drama it produces is insurmountable!!!
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Goldfingers_Girl
On Tue Apr 21, 2015 01:11 AM
1. Better attendance (it would be nice to have a full class from time to time!)
2. No scheduling issues (I have to reschedule all of my classes for comp in many cases and when a soloist or duet misses a class or there is a conflict between exams and classes or comp and exams etc.)
3. Easier Costume selection/prep/maintenance (I'm constantly going back and forth to the seamstress for comp costumes, rental for rec and one million retail stores for hip hop costumes)
4. More appreciation from parents, students, studio owners

Those are my top four.. I also agree with Theresa...I wish in general I did not get so stressed about the class that looks untidy at the show due to bad attendance or scheduling issues that can't be fixed or costumes that are not working. I also wish I didn't take everything so personally...the child that drops my class, not winning a specific award at comp or exam results being lower than expected...but to avoid all of this I would have to care less...which is never going to happen as this is my passion...
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By hummingbird
On Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:26 PM
An orphan with a credit card!

Whoops was that my un-anonymous voice?
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 22, 2015 06:53 AM
Parents who make their children focus on ONE thing, instead of asking me, in all seriousness, if it is ok to take six weeks off for softball or track and then return as long as it is ok if they miss dress rehearsal for a play they're in.
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By DaDancingPsych
On Thu Apr 23, 2015 09:25 AM
No more mean girls. Oh... no... I don't mean the students. My students (even the teens) are lovely and mainly good hearted. My colleagues have turned into backstabbing mean girls!!! They tell lies about other teachers. They will throw anyone under the bus that's in their way. They try to steal jobs. They pick favorites and say terrible things about the others. I only wish I was making this up... I have never seen any teacher act this way. It's gotten to a point where I may have to make a decision (leave or stay), as the SO doesn't seem to notice??? So yes, that would make my life easier!!!
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By hummingbird
On Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:17 PM
I second the better attendance, or at least don't question my ability to teach your kid if you only get them to half ( or less than that) of their lessons, I can only teach them if they're present!
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Sat Apr 25, 2015 02:06 PM
Attendance is big...but I have found myself wishing for students that knew how to have their brains engaged without their mouths engaged. I have a lot that the only way they are engaging their minds actively is if they also get to talk while they do it. It creates a lot of volume in the class, without really anything being said. If I quiet, suddenly their brain activity is sluggish or absent and we spend 15 minutes working on remembering 8 counts (not even perfecting, just remembering!).

I really appreciate the students that save up their thoughts and process them, and bring them up when called. I really enjoy calling on them when I do the "Raise your hand...." questions, since they don't blurt things out in class, and their thoughts are often stronger/better-formed (although not always correct).
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Zophia_May
On Tue Apr 28, 2015 09:53 PM
As both a teacher and a teacher's assistant (I do both depending of the class level), there are several things I can think about but here are my favourites:

1. Parents/guardians/etc. reading informations sent by the school. If the school takes time so give papers to the parents, it usually means that it's important. After that we have people asking questions whose answers were actually provided a few days ago.

2. Children coming to class with their hair tied properly. We teachers regularly give tutorials both to the children and their parents, and yet every week I have students coming to class with their hair loose...and without any kind of hair accessories to fix it.

3. No more exhausted kids being sent to class. I mean, seriously, too many of my 10 years old and younger just yawn their way into class every week, especially on Saturday morning. They either go to sleep too late, or have too busy schedules for their age.

4. Children understanding the importance of listening. I try not to talk too much, so when I do, there's usually a good reason. After all, I'm teaching, not talking to my friends in the street. My younger students don't know yet that one learns a lot by listening. When they finally do at some point during the school year, my class progress much faster, which is more fun for everybody. I wish it would be like that all year long.

5. Children being fed healthy food before class. I've heard everything, from a child having eaten fast food 15 minutes before to another one not having eaten anything by 1pm...
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By ErinNYC
On Mon May 04, 2015 08:54 AM
#1 GET RID OF VIEWING WINDOW!!!

This is a huge problem at all my studios. It does nothing but make it harder for the kids to pay attention when you have faces planted in the window staring at you. Put a camera in the room and send a live feed to lobby if you really want parents to watch. Its much less invasive and you won't constantly be having to tell the children to stop staring at the window. Also it will keep there siblings from banging on the windows. Its soo distracting! School teachers don't have giant viewing windows in there classrooms so why do dance teachers need them. They never made any sense to me. All it does is make it harder to teach the kids and keep there focus.
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Tangodancer101
On Tue May 05, 2015 07:30 PM
As a teacher:

1) For kids to stop talking in class.
2) For kids to stop talking in class.
3) For kids to stop talking in class.

For the life of me, I can't get them to stop. I'm talking even older kids. Do other teachers have this problem? I'm clear about it from the beginning of the year, but I've had kids drop my class just because I told them too many times to be respectful. Some will talk right when I'm standing in front of them giving them instructions! Then I have to get fierce (and I don't want to have to be that way)! I guess they get away with it in the other classes they are taking and when they come to mine, this is my rule. Am I too old fashioned? Is this the new way of dance class nowadays? (I'm not referring to classes for wee ones.)

I never experienced this when I trained years ago. I must be a dinosaur...

Tango
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Zophia_May
On Fri May 08, 2015 03:35 PM
We more or less resolved the talking-during-class problem at my studio:

1) We teachers usually allows the children to say something special at the beginning of the class. It takes about 3 minutes, and it makes the kids feel like we're listening to them. Now is the time for news and stories (such as, "I lost a tooth" or "After class..."

2) We that time is over, the rule is no talking during class. If they do, they get a warning. After 3 warnings, they miss 1 exercice, and they get to sit down. This lasts less than 2 minutes, but it's enough. They get the point that disturbing the class isn't tolerated. It usually takes one or two children breaking the no-talking rule, and then the whole class understands, and we don't have problems anymore.

3) If a student wants to answer a question or share something that is related to the dancing that the class is presently doing, they have to raise their hand and wait to be call upon by the teacher. If they don't, they're breaking the no-talking rule.

...otherwise we had classes of 9 years-old exchanging dance news with their friends while the teacher is explaining something.

So the rule is simple, and if a kid doesn't follow it, he will have a small but immediate consequence. I think the reason why it works so well is that it avoids directing the class' attention on the rule breakers. The class just moves on. If there's really an issue with a student, we talk to the parents and explain the situation. This is a dancing class, not a talking class. The no-talking rule is clearly explained at the beginning of a new term.
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By loverofballet
On Fri May 08, 2015 09:50 PM
I can deal with classroom issues. It is the nastiness that can happen outside the classroom that I wish would just go away. Parent complaints, idle gossip from parents, other teachers. The politics of teaching. Unfriendly teachers at competition.
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Jenny1661Premium member
On Tue May 19, 2015 08:45 AM
Dedication!

Dedication of students to apply corrections and actually put forth their best effort on a regular basis.

Dedication of parents to their children. Meaning either they get their children to class because they really want to be there, or if the student doesn't want to dance they allow them to pursue whatever passion they may have.
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By Dancingsince1985
On Wed May 20, 2015 03:37 PM
This thread makes my heart full.....! Why? Because I'm realizing I'm not the only one with these issues! Oh thank you everyone for confirming I'm not going crazy and being stressed about mouthy kids, or good attendance, or parents watching, or just about everything else listed. Bless you all for lifting my spirits! <3
re: What would make your life easier as an Instructor?
By jadoreprincess47
On Sat May 23, 2015 11:26 PM
I feel sympathy, in my situation though it's my SO that's the gossiping mean girl lately.

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