Hi friends! How is the beginning of the year going for you? Mine is easing in and I’m having a blast! Going to start some fall lessons here pretty soon! My fave! 🙂
I was thinking the other day about rules, and how and when to give them to a class. How do you explain the rules? I thought I would share how I do it, in case it’s helpful to anyone who is reading!
I go back and forth about rules. Kids need rules for sure, but in my opinion some rules should just be unspoken! I find that if I bring up a rule like “please don’t play in that side alcove in the back of the room” many of my students never even thought to even go there, but since I brought it up, now they are curious and want to go see the alcove. Know what I mean?
Since I work with such young children, I try to only address things as they come up. Someone is picking up a star and throwing it across the room, that’s when I address what we do with the starts.
Something else that is really helpful for me, is to ask the dancers about the rules instead of laying them out for them. Here are some examples. I omit “no” as much as possible.
1. Me: Are you allowed to touch your friends at school?
Me: “Why not?”
Students: “Because we can get hurt or hurt someone else.
Me: It’s the same for dance class. We keep our hand to our own bodies.
2. Me: Do you think it’s a good idea to run in the dance room?
Me: Why not?
Students: “you can get hurt!”
Me: That’s right, and there are other places to run like….
Students: “the playground!”
I like to make them come up with the answer! This way they remember it, instead of me just standing up there saying “no running and no touching your friends.” It takes a little more time, but it seems to work!
Really those are the only two rules I address on the first day, and really only for 3 and up. My toddlers I just plow through and address it as it comes. 🙂
So, how do you give the rules, if any? What has working for you, and what hasn’t? Do you wait until a problem arises or do you address everything on the first day? I would love to hear! 🙂