Thursday, 16 September 2010

New (school) year's resolution

For some time now, I've had in the back of my mind, the idea that I want to learn to teach ballet. I'm already a teacher of children (7-11 mainly - all subjects), and as my school's resident dance fan, I run a dance club, and am first point of call for anything dance related. Dance is on the British National Curriculum, but the amount of time dedicated to training teachers in actually delivering dance is so minimal, most teachers, even those with a healthy interest in dance, have little idea, or inclination to teach dance. I for one had less than 4 hours 'dance teacher training' in my post-grad teaching course, and learned more in a one day teacher's course at Northern Ballet Theatre.

Even so, whilst I'm happy teaching curriculum dance (use stimulus, play music, get children to respond through movement, usually connected to a topic being studied), I'm not so confident in delivering dance instruction, i.e. this is the move, repeat it and that's a dance, and really, that's what the children who are really interested in dance really want! 

So... my new year's resolution is to learn to teach dance properly. And I began the long process this evening - I'm so excited!  I fully expected my dance teacher to laugh me out of the room when I asked her if she thought I could train to teach dance, but she invited me to join the older teenagers (all of whom are much more experienced than me) in the intermediate class. In the UK, you need a qualification to teach dance, but can only gain that when you have been through at least part of the vocational syllabus and passed the exams, intermediate being the first step on the road to teaching others the approved syllabus.

Thus, for the forseable future, I shall be spending my Thursday evenings learning the intermediate syllabus and attending a teaching course, and my Saturday mornings observing the experienced teachers in my studios. I'm apprehensive and excited all at the same time, but pleased that I bit the bullet!

What are your new (school) year's resolutions? Are you embarking on anything new and exciting this year - I'd love to hear about them!