Teaching is a skill — it can make all the difference to the inspiration; breathing life or indifference into commitments. In my experience, there are two fundamental parts to teaching; ‘Reading the individual’ and ‘instruction’.
‘Reading the individual’ is a matter of deduction. It is a process for mindful dialogue when instructing individual/s. Observations and analysis are made on the following;
- Ability to process and actualise information
- Physical aptitude
- Proprioception — awareness of own body and space
‘Instruction’ — Learning to formulate a dialogue when instructing is something one develops over time. With experience, teaching becomes more adaptive and instructions more specific. I often reflect on my own instruction whether it be as a teacher or while being trained. For me, there are three key parameters when fine-tuning instructions;
1. Clarity and not overinstructing— Some come to Pilates already so paralysed by the idea of learning something new, an overload of instruction can be detrimental. Give ‘key’ instructions to enable movement. Information should only give context for instructions. Too much information too soon will do the following;
a) confuse them
b) disable their movement
c) disempower them
2. Instructing without ego — teaching is not about showing the individual/s how much you know. It’s about teaching body awareness and empowering individuals to move.
3. Patience — is a virtue and it is no different when learning Pilates. Both teacher and student alike must share this aspect.
The Art of Instruction is to be discerning and adaptive with knowledge. It is inevitable instructions are regurgitated from accumulated knowledge from our own observations, training and practice. However use the knowledge with specificity, relevance and clarity. And never lose sight of the fact that as a teacher, your first and foremost commitment is to inspire.