For the New Teacher – Thoughts from Auntie Sunni

sunni2As I browse the various Pilates forums, I always see questions about how to handle thistemperamental client, or what to do about that injury, or the group class pressure to “bring it”, or how to fit in with the other teachers – all because now you’re the FNG (Friggin’ New Guy).  Depending on the Pilates experience you had before your teacher training and the school you went to, you may have learned choreography or you may have learned how to teach. These are two COMPLETELY different things.

In my experience with contemporary technique training, there was a lot of “learning exercises” and there was choreography tossed in to make the exercises more ‘fun’. From there, we learned to add flourishes to “make it your own” as a way to give your teaching a certain “curb appeal” — to make your group classes the ones that people flock to and have you become the “Energizer Bunny” that students love to get their Pilates ON with. I learned add-ons, modifications & variations, as well as beginner, intermediate, advanced, and super advanced levels of work. I was given a toolbox of ideas for working with different populations and that’s what I used for my privates and semi-privates.

In my more recent classical trainings, I learned HOW to teach each exercise including the goal for the exercise and how to find the best spot in the studio to make the exercise fit the client (the client never has to fit the exercise). I also discovered that my new objective was to learn Pilates as a system. This required that I learn/relearn many exercises, because what I thought I knew and thought I was stellar at, was exactly alike and yet completely different all at the same time. Frustrating? Oh yeah!!

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