It’s wonderful how life offers us the continued opportunities for growth. I hope these ideas inspire, in the spirit of always giving a wonderful experience to our students.
Whether you are an experienced teacher, or just starting your training journey, here are six ways to help meet your students where they need to be met.
REMEMBER BEGINNERS MIND
A couple of years ago I tried surfing. And I didn’t take to it with ease! It was a great experience to move away at what I usually appear to do pretty well at (yoga, pilates, aerial) and into the world of falling – tumbling off a surfboard, matted hair caked to my face and salt water in my mouth!
It is really useful for the more adept to go back to being a beginner at something. It’s humbling for teachers of any movement to remember what it’s like to face the unknown. Whether you are an aspiring teacher or already have many years of experience under your belt, learning a new aerial trick or trying another activity (how about rock climbing anyone?) can help you remember what it’s like to feel unsure. This will keep you supportive of your less confident students, and better able to empathise and meet them where they are at.
It is an HONOUR TO SUPPORT a beginning student in class. It feels amazing to be the one to introduce a new student to the wonders and possibilities of aerial practice (Just as it is an honour for us at the AFI to accompany you as you too expand your possibilities, skillset and career) ?
Because with the AFI Teacher Training you learn THE WHOLE PACKAGE – all about the moves, the blocks and their transitions – your class WILL FLOW EASILY and YOUR TEACHING WILL FEEL NATURAL. As an upcoming teacher your repeated practice of the sequences will get you feeling CONFIDENT, CONFIDENT, CONFIDENT!
The AFI classes are structured deliberately to give your new and less adept students some SMALL WINS FIRST. This way, their confidence will quickly grow and they can relax into the class.
Remember that RELAXATION INCREASES PLEASURE.
The more confident the teacher, the more their students will relax and the more fun everyone will have. Then it’s smiles all around! ?
We mean this literally! When was the last time you received a round of applause in a movement class?
In our training studio it happens frequently! Loud, exuberant clapping! When you are the newbie, or feel like you are the worst in the room, or when you’ve tried and not made it before, your teacher (and fellow students) can play a really helpful role and applaud WHAT YOU JUST DID achieve (!!)
When you celebrate that, it ALWAYS feels good.
RECAP ON THE STRENGTHS
Some students are naturally strong but not very bendy.
Others feel fearless and keen to learn aerial tricks.
While the thought of an airborne forward roll might fill a certain person with fear, that same person might feel awesome doing those deep stretchy moves.
Some individuals get tense about going upside down, but be able to do twelve aerial springs ups without fatigue.
The point is, EVERY INDIVIDUAL HAS THEIR FORTE. And you as the teacher can notice this and generously offer the positives as welcome feedback.
GIVE ENCOURAGMENT… AND GIVE PERMISSION TO PAUSE
Learning when to entice the student to go that next step is part of the art of aerial teaching. The use of a gentle encouragement or a stronger insistence, “You can do it!!” has its place in instructing aerial classes. Having someone to believe in them is enough to encourage many a student to master that next move.
But at other times you need to give permission to have a break for the moment. Remind your student that CLEAR PROGRESS IN AERIAL IS USUALLY MUCH FASTER than skills in other physical sports. Most students notice obvious improvements from one class to the next.
When teaching aerial you will frequently have to decide who to push on and who to remind to take things at their own pace. Your intuition will be helpful here.
BREAK IT DOWN
It’s really important to break down the moves so that even if the student can’t quite complete the full option, you still acknowledge where they DO arrive to. Teaching in stages and offering the options as you go. “Now you can choose to exit backwards, stay here longer, or, if you like, continue on with me.”
When instructing a four step move, reinforce where the student did get to, “See you just did the first two parts of this move. Well done!”
SMALL VICTORIES BECOME LARGER VICTORIES.
And letting students go at their own speed is GUARANTEED in aerial to bring on those larger victories over time.
LEARN WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
This is might sound obvious. But with any teacher training course you need to learn everything that you will actually need to use in your classes. You need to have a proven class structure, with variation and interchangeable modules to keep your classes interesting. You need to know how to transition from block to block and what to say and where to locate yourself to best demonstrate and support the learning and fun.
You will need to know how to adapt your classes to suit the types of students you have, and the mood you want to give your class.
The AFI course cover all of this and with such a solid basis, you can enjoy your teaching and relax into it, allowing your personality to shine through.
Happy training and teaching everyone!
PS Do get in touch with us if you have any question. We love to help aspiring teachers!