In our studios, we have a one way mirror in the window and in the door, so the parents can see in but the students won’t get distracted seeing them. If you know what to look for, you can see the shapes on the other side, sometimes even able to tell who it is, but the kids don’t typically notice. It’s a pretty slick set up.
As a teacher, it can be something nerve inducing, knowing the parents are watching but only get half of what is going on since they can’t hear what’s being said. I find myself nervous that parents are judging me against teachers they’ve had in the past, or other studios they’ve been to. That maybe they’re judging me that they’re kid got stuck with the teacher who probably isn’t good enough to do, just to teach, especially since she doesn’t look like a dancer. (These are the terrible things in my mind, even if they aren’t accurate.) I do my best to keep the class calm and flowing and teach the kids and not just have them have fun, though I want them to enjoy themselves as well. Especially being my first year teaching, I’ve felt pressure–probably put it on myself–to be worthy of this role they have given me.
Friday and Saturdays classes were quite small, especially in comparison to last years classes. I don’t know if it’s just the way things fell this year or if these times didn’t work for this crop of kids this year or what factored into it, keeping in mind that more will likely join as the year goes on. Friday I had 6, I think, and my first Saturday had 4. My second Saturday was so small it was cancelled until more sign into it. (It had one. So they put her in Friday’s class until Saturday beefs up more.) this is great but also complex because you get through what you have planned a lot quicker than when you have a bigger class. You have to get really creative in your use for time.
In each class I have at least one who stands out. Those kids that are naturals, have incredible turn out, perfect jetes, the ones that make you jealous even though they’re four years old, haha. It’s exciting to see the gleam in the eyes of these kids, knowing their hearts are full of dreams an you get to help them learn and grow and hopefully continue to love it.
I saw one of my babies from last year before class yesterday. She’s in the class before mine since she’s older now, and she ran up and hugged me. It made me feel so good. She’s the sweetest little thing, and really quite talented with it. I love that I get to see her before class.
After my class I had finished, I went back into the office to get my stuff. Ms Munro asked me how it went and I told her they were a good group. We talked about how the parents look through the window, and how it can make you nervous and all, and she said a mom was looking in and Ms Munro walked up to peek in and the mom said to her “She’s so good with them!” It mad me feel so good that what is perceived when seeing my class is that I’m good with the kids, not that anything is lacking. I’m sure not everyone will always like me, but it’s nice to know that I’m doing something right, and I really appreciated Ms Munro telling me what the parents said.
Now I just have to research a bit more to get creative to keep the classes fun and interesting all while learning, especially in the smaller classes. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn a lot in this year.
I’m excited and really hopeful for this year.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.