Dance is a beautiful medium for expression. It’s artistic and graceful, yet requires strength and coordination. It’s a fluid string of fleeting movements, yet requires enduring commitment to long hours of repetitious practice. As an aspiring dance instructor, you can share the beauty and joy of dancing with classes of eager students. But, even the most dedicated of students can get a little fidgety at times. Here’s a look at how you might manage your future students.
Establish Clear Expectations for Your Studio
Every student and their parents should fully understand your expectations and policies. Consider developing a student handbook. This doesn’t have to be a 100-page behemoth. A simple sheet or two should suffice to explain your policies on dress code, absences, behavior and personal conduct. Discuss the main points with the student and parents during a brief orientation meeting and have them sign the document. This helps students take ownership of their conduct right from the start.
Set Up a Break Area
Your studio may or may not have a separate break room. If it doesn’t, you’ll need an area where your dance students can leave their belongings—including their cellphones. Since pretty much all students carry cellphones these days, you may need to issue frequent reminders to your students to silence their devices upon their arrival and to leave them with the rest of their belongings. Let your students know that they are welcome to check their phones during their breaks, as long as the phones stay silenced.
Handle Talkative Students with Positivity
Some students talk more than others. Sometimes, children are chatty because they have already mastered the current lesson plan. Find something for them to practice while the rest of the class catches up. Another possible solution is to create mentorships in the class. Students who are a little more advanced will be too busy to chat if they’re assigned to mentor and assist less advanced students. Remember to use positive reinforcement and offer praise when they behave well.
Avoid Awarding Attention for Negative Behavior
When a student isn’t following your rules, he or she may be looking for attention. You can ask that student to sit quietly for a few minutes. They can rejoin the class when they ready to learn.
Form a Partnership with the Parents
As an aspiring dance instructor, you may periodically encounter children who persist in misbehavior no matter what you do. Remember that a child’s behavior always has underlying causes. By forming a partnership with the parents, you can understand what those causes are. Perhaps the child’s parents are going through a divorce or the child has a learning disability. Communicate often with parents to discover effective ways of helping each child excel and learn to love dance.
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