How to Prepare for the Next Semester and Session of Classes

jill jumping

Whether you teach children or teens at a school or at studio, here are four important ideas to consider before classes start up again in a few weeks. 

1. GOALS

What are your goals for yourself as a teacher, and for your students?

 2. INSPIRATION

What is currently inspiring you that you want to bring into your winter/spring classes (music, themes, technical focus)? 

3. TOUCHSTONES

What are some of the larger events during this next semester (performances, open studio, field trip, master class)?

Before all of the wheels are in motion, consider if each of these events directly relate back to your goals and inspiration/focus for the semester ahead.

Can you calendar these events to see where they fall in the semester? (Don’t forget about February Breaks and Spring Breaks for schools and how that will effect your classes.) 

4. BACKPLANNING

If you have a culminating performance in May or June, when do you need to begin on the pieces? I tend to ballpark 30 seconds of choreography per class period (sometimes we get to 45-60 seconds). 

This means that it will take me 6 classes to teach a 3-minute dance to my middle school students. You will also need to consider the date you want the choreography complete, and then how many more weeks to rehearse and polish it.

A good teacher carefully plans so that the students feel confident about the dances and ready to perform. (Also, it is important to videotape or take detailed notes each week, especially if you only see students once a week). Again, how do your goals and inspiration directly feed the final projects?  

These 4 ideas will help you head back into the studio in January.

Here’s to a great semester ahead! 

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