Teaching is nerve-racking no doubt about it! You’re putting yourself out there with the hopes of helping others learn. So of course you will be nervous teaching a group class! Being nervous just means you care about what you are teaching.
Let’s play worst-case scenario here to hopefully dispel some teaching fears and make teaching a Pilates class a little less scary.
1- Generally the students in your class are not experts. You are the expert because you have taken a thorough Pilates certification program that requires hundreds of hours of training and practice. Trust your training.
2- Getting people moving will be a great benefit. Most people sit a lot for their jobs. Any movement you get them to do for an hour will be beneficial. So even a slow or basic class will be good for your students.
3- The students are nervous too. This may be the first time your students are trying Pilates. They may be nervous that they will look like an idiot or not be able to do the exercises. You have the opportunity to be the calm leader that guides them through this experience.
4- You’re not a pre-recorded class, so don’t try to be one. You are human not a DVD or Youtube Video. Everything will not come out perfectly, but no conversation is perfect. The students in your class choose to come in person for the human interaction. They are not expecting you to be a script.
5- Do Extra Repetitions. Often nervousness makes people talk faster. Doing a few extra repetitions of an exercise will not only allow you to get more information across to your students but also give the students time to absorb all the information you are sharing.
6- Don’t Criticize Yourself Out Loud.If you make a mistake don’t rat yourself out. Just correct and continue. 9 times out of 10 the student did not notice your mistake so why would you want to draw attention to it?!?
7- Be Your Own Best Friend.If your BFF was taking your class, think about all the wonderful things they would tell you afterwards. In other words, treat yourself like your own best friend! Know that you are learning and you must allow yourself room to grow.
8- Be open to feedback.The very best teachers are not only open to feedback, but they seek it out. Why? Because they’re excited to learn everyday and desire to become great. Some of the most impactful learning I’ve had as a teacher has come from the constructive criticism offered by students after class.
Ask your students after class for feedback. Ask other teachers to take your class and give feedback. Feedback will help you to grow quickly and give insight into small improvements you can make.
9- Smile & Laugh. People gravitate towards people who smile. People want to be around a good smile and a laugh. If you’re having a good time teaching, your students will feel cared for and supported in their own experience.
10- Aim to Improve Every time You Teach. Little by little, step by step is the only way to become a great teacher. There is no magic or secret. Know you are on a path towards greatness and the journey is how you will get there.
So don’t be a Nervous Nellie- Get out there and show ’em what you’re made of!
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