This post is part of circle time over at Dance Advantage!
There are approximately 1,601, 948 children living in the borough of Manhattan where I teach on a daily basis. That means there are probably 1,000,000 places to take your kids to dance class.
Even for as long as I have taught in Manhattan sometimes I have to pinch myself. Why do parents want to bring their kids to me for dance? With so many choices, it’s not something I take lightly. I know I can’t be all things to all people, but I do really try to take my best qualities and use them with my students.
Thinking about what qualities makes a great teacher, I picked 4 that I think are my best ones. The ones that shine through to my littles, the ones they love me for.
Being Flexible: And I don’t mean my hamstrings! I mean when on the first day the child won’t separate, I let Mom in for a bit. I mean when the class a child signed up for doesn’t work out in their schedule anymore and asks to move for a new time, I let them in. I mean when my littles ask to do a dance over and over and over, I do it. To me, that’s being flexible.
Anticipation: Anticipating what could happen BEFORE it happens is a good quality to have. This is what makes my class safe. Sometimes I can anticipate what my littles are going to say and sometimes I can predict what they are going to do. Developing this skill keeps all the littles happy and having fun. Some things I just can’t anticipate like pee on the floor. But, hey, that’s just part of the job! 🙂
Compassion: Give hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. I try to listen to them as much as I can. I try to strike a balance of things they want to share and what I want to get done. If they cry for any reason I try to be compassionate. We all have bad days and being shown love will only help. This is the most important one. Protect those little hearts!
Time: Take time to develop stories, movements, and songs WITH your littles. Giving them time and space to share what they have to say is what they will remember. They may remember first position, but they will most likely remember the song about the frog you made up in their 3 year old dance class. Giving those experiences are priceless, please make the time!
So there you have it. Four qualities that I think shine through.
What makes you great? What qualities shine through? I would love to hear!