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Tips for New Teachers

December 4, 2011

Are you either recently graduated or on the way to becoming certified?  Being new at anything can feel awkward and uncertain, and each of us felt that way when we first started out.   Don’t sweat it, I’ve been there too and can tell you from experience it only gets better! So I thought I would share a few tips that are my 10 Golden Rules for teachers just starting out.

  1. Don’t get too sexy too soon!  Trust the basics and work the system.  Each session should include Mat and Reformer with some time spent at the end of the session on the other apparatus.  Reinforce the fundamental skills on the other apparatus and see swift results.
  2. Keep it simple - your students will benefit and you won’t burn yourself out.  Use simple and direct cues and for goodness sake, give them a workout!  Let clients move, yes with control but MOVE!
  3. Schedule in your personal workout time – I mean actually write it down in your calendar. And take it a step further by planning it out.  This way you will make sure you work on all the apparatus so the less often used exercises don’t get forgotten.  When you do them, you remember them!
  4. Practice getting your words out accurately.  Habit words sneak their way into our vocabulary and sometimes don’t even make sense!  Practice listening to yourself when you teach, I mean really listen to your words.
  5. A great drill is to practice teaching 3 repetitions of each exercise in time with a video.  Visit my Think Pilates! Free video channel and practice teaching along with the 3 rep demonstration.  It’s a challenge but will sharpen your timing.  Here is the link:  (http://vimeo.com/channels/claredunphy#18249470). 
  6. Fake it till you make it!  Stand tall and project energy and confidence.  Your body language will instill energy and confidence to your student as well.  You may feel uncertain inside but project strength and grace through your posture and you will feel better too!
  7. Breathe, breathe, breathe – it is the best way to help keep you centered and in the moment. 
  8. Take regular lessons from a teacher you admire.  Get another set of eyes and input on your practice.  Teachers need teachers!
  9. Plan your next continuing education workshop.  The learning never ends.  Identify the weak points in your Pilates practice. Seek out workshops and seminars that address those needs.
  10. Keep your passion alive!  Stay connected to your Pilates community.  Keep in touch with fellow teachers on or off line -  share stories, workout together, problem solve and and simply talk Pilates.

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