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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Turnover of Teachers


nycdancermom

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Does it mean anything if there are changes in the teachers during the year? What if the studio is using a senior student to regularly teach 10-14 year olds? What, if anything, should I ask about her experience? Or, should I assume that if the AD approves, then it should be fine?

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  • Administrators

If there is an unusual amount of turnover in teachers, that is not a good sign for the school. There could be many reasons for this, so it's hard to know what is going on. I do not like the idea of students teaching unless they have been through a teacher training program and are being supervised in their teaching. I would not assume all is fine.

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Thanks Victoria--The primary teacher still teaches, but the student assistant is now teaching a fixed number of classes each week. I do know that the primary teacher and the AD each observed the student teacher conduct a class when the new semester commenced (just recently). I haven't inquired (yet) about her teacher training background.

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For me, having a 'senior student' consistently teaching the younger kids would not fly. Nope, just wouldn't.

 

Are you talking about a senior high school student? or a college senior student? College, yes; high schooler, nope.

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For me, it would depend on what training the 'senior student' has/is getting in terms of dance pedagogy. I was thinking a college dancer in a BFA program with a pedagogy component or some dance pedagogy training somewhere. Something more than simply having taken classes for a long time.

 

Just because she's reached a higher level doesn't mean she has any clue why a class is structured the way it is or when any individual student is ready to progress to the next layering of skill sets or nuances or how to evaluate what an individual dancer may need in terms of nuanced corrections.

 

IF the 'senior student' knows and understand this and is not just parroting exercises she was given in a class (without understanding the why's and what fors), then I would be satisfied. But without knowing whether the 'senior student' really knows and understands what she is doing and why she is doing it and the progressive order of things, I would want to know her credentials just as I would for any teacher. Simply being a 'senior student' isn't enough of a teaching credential for me.

 

Those 10-14 years are quite formative and very important in terms of laying the foundation for a dancer's technique and training. I wouldn't entrust it to just any 'senior student'--high school age or college age, even.

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Dancemaven,

 

Thanks. You confirmed that my initial thoughts were not off the mark. Unfortunately, I can't move my DD mid-year. So, I guess I have to start thinking about what I will do for Fall 2013 if this is a permanent teaching position for this person.

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