So, as promised, here is the followup post to 12 Things you can do right now to fall in love with teaching again. Because it was geared toward indoor cycling instructors and Spinning instructors, you might have found it a bit unhelpful. So here you go Zumba, Kickboxing, Step, Sculpt, Hip Hop and Whatever-Style-You-Teach teachers… A list just for you!
- Take a look through the original post and consider how you can apply the suggestions to your style of teaching.
- Join a professional organization to provide you with authoritative and thorough information on a regular basis. For a broad group fitness resource, you might consider joining IDEA. For more concentrated information about your specific genre, start with your certifying body or find communities dedicated to your class style. For example, AFAA membership includes a subscription to their magazine: American Fitness.
- Find your message. Knowing your purpose in teaching and bringing your message to the forefront of your classes can revitalize both you and your students!
- Find new ways to say the same old things. It is incredibly challenging but rewarding to sit down and work on finding new words to motivate yourself and your students. Shake up your vocabulary and reinspire yourself and your students.
- This one is on the other list, but it cannot be repeated enough: Take as many other classes as you can, especially in the style that you teach, with the goal of learning something new.
- Express gratitude for your students.
- Here’s another that bears repeating: Get feedback, either through member surveys or having someone critique your teaching. Then, incorporate it, whether you agree with it or not. In other words, try it someone else’s way. You’ll learn more from that than you can possibly realize.
- Get repetitive. In Spinning, the Master Instructors are encouraged to ride in the exact same position for an hour or more in order to learn everything about that position: how it feels when you are totally fatigued, where form suffers first or the most when you are wearing out, etc. This knowledge makes coaching these positions more intuitive. Similarly, martial artists will perform the same movement hundreds of times before mastering it. This concept can be applied across the board. Whatever style you teach, practice it!!! Practice it over and over until it is *in* you. Once you free yourself from having to think about it, you can be more receptive to your students and more easily adapt to whatever could happen during class.
- Check out a podcast. iTunes has a great listing of podcasts covering a seemingly infinite variety of topics. Try one in your genre, or maybe just listen to a motivational speaker or a class style you want to try that isn’t offered in your area. There are so many possibilities here! I subscribe to the ICI/PRO feed, Zig Ziglar’s Words of Motivation, and the yogajournal.com podcast (although this one hasn’t been updated since March) plus a dozen others in topics I find interesting. There is one here for you too!
It should go without saying that you don’t have to attempt to tackle all 20 things on these two lists at one time. Set a goal for yourself to have improved your teaching in some measurable way by a specific date. Then, use these suggestions as a springboard for getting there!
Cheers! To the amzing teacher you are and you are becoming! Never stop learning!!!!