Checklist for the ballet teacher before starting class.
Here is your checklist before starting your ballet class. Making sure you have taken care of everything on this list ensures a relaxed and focused start of your class. You will be able to give your full attention to your students immediately because you have no distractions and have everything prepared. Use this checklist and you have an easy system in place and can enjoy a calm start.
- Your class material
Sounds logical, but there are people who don’t prepare their material sufficiently because they believe they don’t have enough time. Then they decide to wing it in class, which may lead to situations where students are waiting for them to decide what to do. The flow of your class may be affected by this and not in a good way, so be aware.
Also go ahead and try to know your material by heart. A teacher who constantly checks her/ his notebook to see what is next and how the exercise goes, looks insecure. And again, it takes up time you need to be spending by letting your students dance. And giving them constructive feedback and corrections.
Obviously when you are a more experienced teacher, it can happen that you decide to give them an extra exercise on the spot. But with the function of helping them out to practice and understand a specific movement or step. When you reach this level of experience you can do this without disturbing the flow of your class.
- Your music
Make sure you have your music where you can find it easily. For example, you can make playlists for every class that you teach. This way you can make quick transitions and your students don’t have to wait for you while you are searching for a file or list. When it does happen that you are searching, then give your students a little assignment. Let them practice the exercise or choreography together until you find the specific music you want. And tell them what you are doing. Don’t leave them hanging.
- Your outfit and hair.
Check your outfit the day before your class. See if you have everything you need and want. It looks very unprofessional when a teacher arrives at the studio and looks as if she will go out to buy groceries. Of course it can happen that you forget something, but then again communication is key. Tell your students and do your very best.
The important thing is that you are a professional teacher, so you must look the part. wear clothes and do your hair in such a manner that you look clean, clear, concise and recognizable as the teacher.
Always in my bag: tissues, painkillers, extra contact lenses, cords for my phone and for a music installation. Extra ballet shoes. And a portable, mini speaker I can connect to my phone via Bluetooth to resolve any music issues. But this is my list. Make your own list of essentials and keep them in your bag at all time.
- Your mindset and motivation
Leave your personal troubles at the door. Do not share them with your students. They are there to enjoy class and dancing an not to listen to your life story and complaints. And even if you had a bad day, start fresh in every class you teach. Have a positive and open, growth mindset so you can be the best teacher and coach for your students.
Bonus: be on time.
Leave your home or other workplaces on time. Make sure you will still be on time if you encounter a traffic jam that you know is likely to happen. Going by public transportation? Take at least 1 bus or train earlier than the time you could leave home. Just to make sure that you will be on time if a train gets canceled or detoured. Really try to avoid coming in at the nick of time and start your class chaotic and out of breath.
Finally, take your work seriously and always have fun. Do research, know what you are talking about, create a good working atmosphere and let your students have fun while learning ballet.