As dance professions and educators, it can become easy to get caught up in the choreography, lessons plans, class activities and more when getting ready for class each week. One of the most important things to remember when welcoming your dancers into your classroom, is that all eyes are on you!
"One, two three...eyes on me!" This little chant is a great tool for grabbing kids attention! What we mean when we say all eyes are on you though, is not just that the little dancers in front of you are focused and paying attention. It's important to remember that parent's are trusting you with their most prized possessions, and that they have the utmost faith in you. While this may seem intimidating at times, it can also be your greatest asset! Many parents are looking for their "village" when it comes to raising their children, and as a dance teacher, you've been given a unique opportunity to provide that, by utilizing these few skills, which are some of your greatest.
Expertise and Professionalism
Dance Teachers can spend years training and studying to become qualified educators, and they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom. They are trained to create effective lessons, understand different learning styles, develop appropriate choreography and assess student progress. This level of expertise gives parents the assurance that their children are in good hands, and that they will receive a quality dance education.
Guidance and Support
Dance Teachers often act as a pillar of guidance and support both within and beyond the classroom. The first few years of a child's life especially are so uniquely important! Within this time, children's brains are making millions of connections based on the interactions they have, their dance teachers being one of them. A child's experiences and relationships are allowing them to learn about the world around them, and form deep connections. As a dance teacher, you will act as mentors, counselors, and advocates for many of even the littlest ballerinas. You'll work closely with parents to identify and address any challenges their children may be facing within the classroom, and you can create a safe and supportive environment that fosters learning and personal growth. All of this gives parents the confidence that their children are receiving the support they need to thrive and grow.
Trustworthy and Reliable
Teachers are held to high ethical standards, and parents trust that they will act in the best interests of their students. Dance teachers are no exception. Being responsible for the safety and well-being of their students requires a high level of responsibility and accountability. As the head of the classroom, you are expected to maintain confidentiality and respect the privacy of your students and families, which helps build a strong bond of trust. Utilizing this trust and allowing your relationship to grow can be key in both forming a positive teacher/student relationship with the dancer, as well as with parents.
Dance teachers invest time and effort in getting to know their students, their strengths, and their challenges. It's no secret that most parent's can't teach new dance steps, choreography or the art of ballet and they're looking for you to do so, but that is not all that you're doing at the head of the class. By utilizing your skills, allowing for a personal connection helps build trust between parents and teachers, and it also creates a supportive and collaborative learning environment for children. Dance Teachers often go the extra mile to make their classroom engaging, fun, and memorable for their students, which builds a sense of connection and engagement, and this is arguably one of the most important factors in raising great kids, and being an integral part of a parent's "village".
The next time you're getting ready to teach a dance class, or you're standing at the head of the classroom, remember that all eyes are on you because while you're working with children, you have one of the most important jobs in the world! You are helping parents as a member of their 'village' and helping to raise the next generation!