Teaching Snack #2
Sometimes you may feel like you’ve lost your raison d’etre (purpose) as a teacher. You go through the motions, collecting money and counting to 8. You forget what inspired you to teach in the first place, and you forget what a powerful impact you have every day on students who entrust you with their bodies and minds to help them develop and thrive.
What to do
To put things back in perspective and set a positive, mindful intention to your teaching, think about this mantra and say it out loud to yourself, before every private lesson, class, or workshop. Let it be a filter that determines what you say to your students and how you say it.
I am honoured to be allowed the responsibility
of influencing this human’s life by directing
their journey of finding joy through dance.
But don’t just repeat the words. Let’s break down each phrase:
I am honoured:
Honoured is a feeling that stems from humility: when you realize that credit, gift, compliment has been bestowed upon you that you were not needing or trying to get.
to be allowed the responsibility:
You have been given permission or consent to be in charge of and take care of a delicate task
of influencing this human’s life:
Making a mark, leaving a legacy, impacting the feelings and experience of another
by directing their journey:
Guiding someone as they progress and find their way, not just once, but as an ongoing process
of finding joy through dance:
Using dance as a vehicle to discover and maintain the ultimate goal of self-fulfilment
Of course, you can use your own words that may have more meaning for you. This is just a general model to get you started.
Okay but how?
Saying the words isn’t enough. You need to ponder or meditate on each phrase, noticing the potency of the words. Let them lay on you for a while.
Once they start to grow on you and you develop your own personal meaning for them, say them out loud to set your mindset before you start your class. This mindset will determine the choices you make about what to say and how to express it.
If you need a little more tough self-love, consider what the opposite of each of the words is. For example, what would be the opposite of “honoured”? What would your teaching look like if you behaved with the opposite words?
- “I’m ambivalent”
- “I’m forced to take the burden”
- “I’ll make no impact on anyone’s life”
- “I don’t have a plan to guide them”
- “I’m not interested in their enjoyment”
If you truly believe most of these statements, you should be reconsidering your teaching practice.
If you occasionally feel some of these statements are true for you, that’s normal and you should not be worried. They should however, serve as a red flag, indicating that you need change.
Teachers don’t have a lot of organic support in West Coast Swing – they are usually the ones taking leadership and being supportive of others.
That’s what we’re here for.
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