Tag Archives: teachers

Reflections of a Wannabe Dance Teacher

Trinity_Academy_of_Irish_DanceAs long as I can remember, my life has pretty much revolved around dance. I was three when I first watched an Irish dancing performance, was hooked on Riverdance from the time I was four and my neighbor gave me a VCR. I’ve been taking class the past 12 years of my life, and competing for the last 8. But now I’m seventeen, and it’s time to look into the future: college, a career. How can dance fit into the picture? It’s not easy with all the uncertainty.

The answer came (at least sort of) when I turned up to class too early one day in mid-November, and I watched a beginner doing a move wrong. Normally, I would have let it slide—my teacher would fix it later, when the class wasn’t so large—but, honestly, seeing this step done wrong killed me. So I walked over, and I taught the dancer how to do it properly. My teacher saw, and invited me to come assistant teach the following class. And so I did. Turns out, I love it.

One of the most emotional days of teaching was when I taught a beginner jig to a young dancer. This particular dancer, while talented, would have most likely been better off in our first beginner class, but she had moved into the second level because her friends had been moved up and the class was getting quite large. That Saturday morning, the dancer and I spent a good 45 minutes working on the newly-taught steps. I wrote this “note to myself” after this class:

The life I changed today was not really my own. It was my student’s. [My teacher] said that she’d never seen [the student] so involved, so focused. Today, I reminded a little girl that she can dance. Today, I was the teacher I would have wanted. I did work that I can be proud of, and work that I’m good at. Today was pretty great!!!!!

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Bad Teacher!

PowersMathHomeworktumblr_miqw96gvYB1r4g1p5o1_500Oh, how I dreaded 7th period my freshman year. By the time 1:25 in the afternoon rolled around, it felt like I was being sentenced to my own death. It wasn’t that Algebra II was the bane of my existence, because I’m not even all that lousy at math. It was my cold-hearted, mean, grouchy, short-tempered, overall horrible man I had for a teacher. I don’t know what was worse: his indescribably bad breath, or his almost hilariously unclear teaching method. By the time 2:15 finally arrived, my brain was scrambled and inexpressibly baffled by whatever lesson he had poorly taught us for the day. He was almost as dreadful as Ms. Trunchbull from Roald Dahl’s Matilda. This went on for nine months, four times a week, for forty-five agonizing minutes every day.

The end of the period was just as much a flood of relief as it was a blow at my self-esteem, as I trudged out of that classroom tremendously confused as well as angry with myself. Why don’t I just get it? I would think to myself. Am I just stupid? Continue reading

Four on a Theme: Teachers

booksicon_final We’ve highlighted a lot of different books about schools and the school experience for teens, but we haven’t yet looked at stories about teachers. What is school without teachers? Whether you’ve had good teachers or bad teachers, you know your school years would be strangely different if you’d never had a teacher. Here are four books about great teachers and the difference they make in kids’ lives.
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