Forum: Teaching Assistants

Teen Teaching Adults
By happytappynat
On Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:26 PM

Hey everybody!
So I'm fourteen almost fifteen and my studio's director asked me to teach an adult tap class. I'm one of the best tappers in our studio (or so she says) and I love it. My teacher works at her other job on Fridays the day of the class so she asked me to teach them :) of course I was super excited and I love it! I have been teaching the class for about two and a half months now and its great!
But the only thing is that I get kind of intimidated. All of the adults are nice and all, but its kind of scary teaching adults being so much younger. I don't want to correct them too much because I feel like I should still be respectful to adults. Does anyone have any advice on how I could still correct them without being rude and them not being offended. Does any one have experience with something like this that they could give me some advice or tell me your experiences with this :)

4 Replies to Teen Teaching Adults

re: Teen Teaching Adults (karma: 1)
By moara
On Sun Nov 27, 2011 01:04 PM
I took a class from a 17-year-old when I was 25, and I wish she had given me more corrections. When you're taking a class as an adult, you already know that you like dance, and want to get better.
re: Teen Teaching Adults
By RosePremium member
On Sun Nov 27, 2011 01:07 PM
If your adults have accepted you and been kind to you the last months, you can feel safe to correct them. If you want to feel more safe, do not only correct them but also tell WHY it's better to do it your way. You will get respect because you show you know what you're talking about.

Think at home about the mistakes they usually make, and how you would like to correct those mistakes. That gives you time to find the best correction, maybe even discuss it with your teacher, before using it in class.

When you correct someone personally, keep an eye on someone's expression. You will (learn to) see when they still appreciate your comments, and when you have to stop.

Go to wikipedia and find some books about tap. Read about the history. It's always handy if you can (casually, incidentely) tell something about tap. About how it started, how it developped, about famous tapdancers, funny anecdotes.

Know how to find tap videos on Youtube and make your students aware of great tap videos.

With telling more than 'left right shuffle hop', you show you know mooore. That will give you respect from your students.
re: Teen Teaching Adults
By NDow
On Sun Nov 27, 2011 06:04 PM
I was not quite so young as you are, but I had a similar situation when I was teaching dancers who were much older than I was in NY. It can be pretty daunting. I had to spend a good deal of time before class getting into my "teacher role." You will gain confidence as time passes.

Helping students to learn and make progress is part of your job description. If you have a challenge with the idea of correction, try to concentrate on the "helping" aspect.

There may be one or two adults in a group who are resistant to taking correction from you. If that happens, try making those corrections as comments to the whole group, rather than to the specific student.

Phrasing corrections in a positive way can help, too. For example: "When I was learning that step, I found it helped me to concentrate on xyz." OR "Let's try it this way..."

Praise goes a long way, too: "Wow! A couple of weeks ago you were struggling with that step, and now you really have it!"

Reporting back to your teacher at the beginning of each week may be a good idea right now. You can discuss material, and the way your students are handling the material. If you feel comfortable with her, let your teacher know who/what is causing you to feel intimidated, and then your teacher can give you advice.

Once that dance fairy zaps you with her teacher wand, the deed is done.

Your teacher gave you this teaching assignment because she has faith in you. As you go along you will develop more faith in yourself. You may have to "fake it" right now, but soon you will own the role. Once I stopped worrying about being good enough, and started concentrating on sharing what I loved, I did much better. Hopefully that will help you, too!
re: Teen Teaching Adults
By Dream_chaserPremium member
On Tue Nov 29, 2011 08:20 PM
I was 19, teaching adults. My most favorite classes!

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