On Being a Teacher

When I began instructing, I wasn’t quite sure how I would channel the knowledge I had accumulated as a lifelong student of the arts and performer into something useful and beneficial to my students.  I didn’t know if I was ready, or if I would be good at it or could make it safe…..you know, the usual self doubt.  I knew I had something to contribute, but would anyone even listen to me?  It’s still there from time to time, I just know how to put it in it’s place for the most part.  Well I kept at it, and like anything, my methods evolved as I went along.  Now I search for ways to break out of my methods and keep it fresh and new, which sometimes can be hard when you find something that works.

Any instructor will tell you that some classes can be extremely challenging.  You love what you do, but like any job, it is definitely more work some days than others.  Different students need different things.  It’s learning how to recognize this and being able to say or show something 10 different ways until something sticks.  Sometimes (even within a single class) you are the cheerleader, the counselor, the big sister, the disciplinarian, the guinea pig, the technical wench (my favorite), etc.  Sometimes people are just for the photos; you end up in a hundred facebook pictures as the person lifting their butt over their head (hey, that was me too!).  You have to teach a lot of these classes to eventually find your core group of students, and when you do, it can be magical.  Little did I know a group (or two) would evolve that would not only share the same intense passion and commitment to the art as I do, but would become some of my closest friends as well.   When I’m in class with them, it doesn’t feel like work at all, it feels like we are hanging out at an awesome playground together, egging each other on.  They’ve been there with me through a lot; we’ve shared each other’s ups and downs, celebrated life events together, been an ear to listen.  There have been multiple times when I have learned something about life from them.  Whatever I’ve given, I feel like I’ve gotten back one hundred fold.  Then they go and do something awesome like this:

= heart full of gratitude! I love you guys!