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More Preparedness

study_laptop

Making the transition from full-time student to part-time teacher is requiring more preparation time. Last night, I spent some time re-sorting all my workout clothing, my performance clothing, my performance jewelry, my dance shoes, and my workout bags. I’ve rounded up all my notebooks from various classes for the past three years, and poised them next to me on my desk with all the intention to start digitizing my notes. I use a cross-platform system called Evernote so that I can make notes on my phone, laptop, or tablet at anytime. I also tend to format my notes in Word or Excel when I need a printed version on occasion.

I’ve been collecting various teaching syllabus notes from different websites and teachers over the years. Now I’m in the place where I can start creating my favorite teaching syllabus, just those small tweaks for how to fit the material to my various students, teaching environments, and calendar constraints.

I always knew teachers worked hard. And I’ve always put efforts into my training materials for various textile classes I’ve presented over the years. But some days I can hardly believe I’m in this place already: Implementing my ideas and notes over the years.

I’ve often pictured in my head having a teacher log book that keeps track of which elements various students have learned so far. I now have a draft for my student records, and only by using it will I be able to figure out whether it has all the features I need. I also have been dreaming of a workbook / handouts for various courses and individual classes. I need to start working on those, based on the various personal study aids I created for myself over the past three years. And then I’ve been thinking about how to present this material as an *option* that isn’t mandatory. I don’t want students who are *not* paperwork-oriented in their learning style to be intimidated by my study guides.

What a joyful stage this is for me, chewing on my ideas and implementing my solutions. I’m entirely in my element right now.

Post-first-class Success

I think that the post made mere minutes after I left my student’s house sums up the awesome that was last night.

Brilliant, flashing movements. Bells and drums. Cats fascinated by human-sized cat toys. Isolations of body parts, while coming together in unity. Meditation of the body, exercise of the mind. #BellyDancing with Cat Ellen was a revelation. Thank you, my sister.

I could not be more pleased at my first run at a first lesson. I felt prepared (with the exception of having not packed my iPod speakers). I felt strong in my technique and my articulation skills. And I felt so much gratitude that my approach to dance was met with so much enthusiasm.

I’m on the right path. This brings me so much relief.

Making the Transition

One of my favorite drawings, a gift given to me by Lynn (@cavalaxis) from foulbitten.com
One of my favorite drawings, a gift given to me by Lynn (@cavalaxis) from foulbitten.com

Tonight is a major transition for me. It’s the first night that I am officially going to someone’s home to teach them ATS®. Since the first hour of the first class of the first level, I knew I wanted to teach this dance form. But now I’m just a few minutes from getting into my car and driving to the appointment. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m nervous. But then again, I’ve been working non-stop for three years to get here. Just a month or two ago, my regularly weekly schedule included class or rehearsal four nights per week, 10.5 hours of dance per week. In April, I spent 20-hours over four days in an intensive workshop earning my General Skills (GS) certification from Carolena Nericcio. In May, I went to Tribal Fest for the third time, spending 16 hours in another 8 classes.

But it’s here. My first day preparing to teach. I can only hope that I do all my teachers proud, to arrive prepared, to teach with care and compassion and skill and good technique, and share this passion and love I have for this dance and this community.

Here we go.