Monday, February 17, 2014

To NECCA I go: Teaching training workshop, part 1

After the first day of the teacher training workshop I would say I’m a hesitant spotter. I hope this is just because I haven’t ever taught something that required spotting before, and that I’ll overcome this with practice. Yesterday we went through what might be a typical first class on fabrics, and a typical first class on trapeze.

It’s hard to remember what those first classes were like. I know both Andrew and I enjoyed it enough that by the end of our first hour and a half on the equipment we asked when we could enroll in our next session. I also remember that I couldn’t manoeuver my knees up to the trapeze bar without a small jump, and then desperately tring to hook my toe onto the bar so I could push myself through to an inverted pike.

Almost 3 years later, I don’t give much thought to getting up onto a trapeze (when I do venture onto a bar), I just do it.

So, spotting. It’s important. You need to keep your students safe at all times, the priority being, as Serenity Smith-Forchin said, your student’s computer (aka brain) and to do that, you need to put your hands on them—but in the right way. Not creepily, not with too much force so that you’re practically doing the move for them, not too little so that they can’t perform the move either. It’s something of a Goldie Locks situation, where you need just the right amount of support and guidance. I don’t have the golden touch, yet.

I hope by the end of class I’ll be on my way to getting there.

Our homework from yesterday:

Postural Analysis (a part of injury prevention): While standing, and thinking about it, I can maintain a reasonably neutral spine/pelvis position, although when simply standing around I tend to jut my pelvis slightly forward. I also think I’m reasonably good at keep my shoulders engaged when I lift them. But this might just because I was thinking carefully about what I was doing. I know when I work at my computer I have a tendency to allow my shoulders to slouch forward (who doesn’t?). I frequently remind myself to sit up straight (and sometimes Tweet it too).

Goals for the first year of teaching: Given what I wrote above, I’d like to grow my confidence as a spotter. Along with that, I feel I also need to build confidence in giving step-by-step instructions as I spot (We didn’t exactly do this as we practiced in class, but many people seemed to do it naturally. Some people were very good at it, others, not so much. It doesn’t help that everyone in the workshop knows very well what to do without help).



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