Tips for New Teachers

 

Like with any new skill you wish to acquire, becoming a Pilates instructor takes time and practice until it becomes a second nature. While the training course provides you with all the necessary tools to be a great teacher, it is only when you start practice teaching itself that you will make it a reality. The training course is only the tip of the iceberg…

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Here are seven tips to help you unfold the great teacher within you:

  1. Be prepared: Take time to prepare your class at home. Write down the lesson plan and explore it by practicing it first on yourself so you know how it feels, then practice teaching it (say and do drill is also a great option). If you can record yourself teaching a demo-class and then observe it, even better! This is a very powerful tool for your personal growth.
  2. Speak Slowly: As a new teacher you are, naturally, both nervous and excited, which might speed up your talking rhythm. Try to speak slower than you think, allow time for breath, for cues to sink in and for a rest.
  3. Verbal cues: When you plan your class take time to find clear, concise and easy to follow phrases (ideally, few for each exercise). Think of helpful and simple ways to deliver them using metaphors, imagery and anatomical wordings.
  4. Anatomy: Make sure you review anatomy regularly. Use that knowledge to apply safe, appropriate hands on. 
  5. Let your students teach you:  Your students are your greatest teachers. Explore different ways to deliver the same action, check what works. Observe who triggers you in a class and try finding out why.  Stay compassionate towards them and yourself.
  6. Be flexible: Be willing to leave out things you planned but in class are not suitable and adapt to the level of the students.
  7. Step off the mat: Teaching is not about you, it’s about your students. Avoid staying on the mat practicing with your students. Instead, try delivering the exercises verbally as clear as possible. Demonstrate only part of the exercise and walk around the room while students are doing the other part.

As you slowly gain more and more confidence, you might notice you need less time to write and plan the class. You will be able to remember more and verbally cue the exercises smoother.

Naturally, there will be times when you will make mistakes; skip one side, get confused with wordings etc… It is OK!

It’s ok to back up, laugh at yourself and acknowledge your mistakes. Do your best, be kind, keen and passionate, and everything else will follow!

[notice ]By Or-yah Avni[/notice]

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