General Dance Discussion > Gripe: Self-appointed teachers

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by jennyisdancing, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    You've described me perfectly. :) I'm good at a lot of things in my life (and no, I don't put dance on that list yet ;) ), but I jsut am not good at teaching what I know to other people. Have tried it with tech work in theatre, with various portions of my IT work, etc, just doesn't happen. Now both my sisters and my dad, they're teachers. None of them are working as teacher now (except for a couple night classes a week my dad teaches), but regardless, they all have the ability to take something they know, and explain it to someone else, particulrly a begginer (be it math music, dance, whatever), so that the person hearing it can understand and learn what is being discussed. I just can't do that. No matter how long I work in IT, or how many certifications I get, whatever, that's jsut a skill I don't seem to have. That's part of the reason I value my pro so much, because I couldn't dance at ALL when i started, and I had tried more than once to learn some, but it just never happened. I lucked out with pro randomly assigned to me though, she just does a great job of explaining things so I can understand them. Luckily for me, she also happens to be one of best dancers in our region of FA too. ;)
  2. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Lol... you sound like me. Everyone in my family at one time or another were teachers of something. I taught college classes, because I had to in order to graduate. I was good at it, but I didn't really care for it. It's hard. You have to have the right "it" factor to teach, and some people just don't have it. I know I don't. I did try though!

    That's why with me, I have lots of friends that want to learn how to dance. I don't even want to show them the basic steps. So, I don't. I give them a calendar with my instructors business card, and I'll tell them to go and speak with my instructor. I've even said that I'll go with them if they are nervous about going by themselves. The only time that I will help out is if my instructor at the time wants me to. Otherwise, I know that everyone has different learning abilities from what I have experienced at the college. Whatever I say, might not get into their heads anyways, since I don't personally know what they are like as a student. My instructor has that ability, since that is what he does for life, so I'll let him handle all of that. Plus... I'd hate to take money away from him when I want him to be around for a loooooooong time!
  3. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Yep, done the same thing. If you want to learn to dance, you get my pro's card. :)

    I will teach new women basics of dances they don't know at the parties, but that's just because I know they've already got a pro and will learn anything else from them, including fixing whatever I teach them wrong.
  4. RickRS

    RickRS Member

    Nothing reveals as quickly to yourself what you don't know about a subject than trying to teach it to another.

    As mentioned earlier, a common tool for mastery of academics is study groups outside the classroom. A student attempting to explain principles to the other hapless students will immediately recognize what they themselves don't really grasp about the subject. That is, if they don't let their ego get in the way. :mrgreen:
  5. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    So why don't we have ballroom study groups ;-) ?
  6. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Perhaps it is because you are good that you find it difficult to teach. If things come naturally to you, it may be harder to break things down for other people, as you never had to break them down yourself.
  7. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Yes, why don't we? :eyebrow:
  8. Me

    Me New Member

    Because people don't want to learn. They want to already know.
  9. RickRS

    RickRS Member

    Ok, I'm just going in circles.

    We're right back to the beginning, where Jennyisdancing was complaining of a student (a bit of an overbearing one;)) doing a "study group" of sorts with his practice session to "give back to the community".
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    "Nothing reveals as quickly to yourself what you don't know about a subject than trying to teach it to another.

    As mentioned earlier, a common tool for mastery of academics is study groups outside the classroom. A student attempting to explain principles to the other hapless students will immediately recognize what they themselves don't really grasp about the subject. That is, if they don't let their ego get in the way. :mrgreen: "

    Then, they either hang it up, or use it as an incentive to sharpen their own understanding, and how to present it clearly to others. Good teachers are good role models, since good teachers have a good grasp of material and know how to present things clearly.
    If you've had good teachers, and have been a good student yourself, you have a better chance of being able to explain to, and, when it comes to dance, demonstrate, what you know to others.
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  12. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Here's something to think about though. ;)

    I wanted to say something about this with what I have experienced. The thing is that with me, I could teach my subject. I was a 4.0 student throughout the majority of my college career, graduated with honors twice and all of that. I had students shaking my hands and saying thank you when I was done teaching them. The only thing is that I know that I don't have what it takes to teach, because I just don't have the heart to become a teacher. And that doesn't mean that I don't know the material. It just means that I know teaching isn't meant for me. It's like when you start a job only to realize it isn't for you. I've done this too.

    But anyways, to me it's like I don't want to have people thinking that I am being stuck up or that I'm not smart or whatever just because I won't teach them. What I will tell them is that I am not a professional, and I think that you should learn from someone that is, and to me that's the smartest thing that I could do. When I worked at the college, I was put into the position. If I am asked by a professional to help out, I will. But otherwise, my theory is no. Go to a professional. I staple my instructor's business card with a calendar, and I'll say go and see him. There is nothing wrong with this way of thinking I don't think anyways.
  13. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    I agree but usually take a bit of a softer approach. If someone approaches me at a social and asks how to do a step or something I usually show them how I do it but I draw the line as showing them how they should. That way I have 'helped' but have not really 'taught'. I usually also suggest that they take a private lesson and offer to suggest pros.
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    It's perfectly fine that you have this attitude yourself - it's a safe one.

    But it's completely out of bounds to expect that others will also have it, for one simple reason:

    "professional" means nothing.

    It's a social distinction, not a dancing one.

    Who would someone be better of going to for tutoring in your field - you, the "non teacher" with expert knowledge, or a the local elementary school teacher who covers a watered down version of that subject for an hour a day? There are some ways that the experienced teacher might be more beneficial, but there are also a lot of ways in which having somoene who really knows the subject in depth would be more important. Now if you refer them to your thesis advisors that's better yet - but the elementary school teacher still passes the criterea of professional educator, wheras you - the potentially much more effective solution - do not.
  15. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Well, I don't expect others to feel this way. I was just trying to make a point about how just because you might not want to teach something doesn't mean that you don't grasp it etc. And I agree with you about the professional part of it all. But a simple solution is, if you don't want to teach it, the next best thing would be to refer them to a professional. Of course, this would be someone you want to promote as well though, which in most of our cases, would be our own instructor.
  16. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Sure. It's fine to make stricter rules for yourself - either as limits or explanations - than you wish to hold other people to.
  17. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    I give credit to those that do teach, and can teach well, because I know how hard of a job teaching really is. And I also give credit to those that try to help out. I know how hard that is too. So, kudos to you for doing that much! I don't want anyone to think I disapproved of that at all. I just know what I have done in the situation, because that is what works best for me... and as what Chris said, is safe.

    But anyways, I hope everyone's advice has helped the OP! ;)
  18. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Spratt: please understant - I have no problem with your approach, its one of those things we have to simply deal with ourselves. By the way, I do teach as part of my job - its just that, like you, I would rather teach that which I am competent at (to be honest, its hard enough convincing myself that I'm competent even in my own specialty)!
  19. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    But except with me, I'd rather not teach, not even the areas I am now currently qualified to teach in. ;)
  20. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Europe does... Italy especially. And probably that is how they have emerged as a leading force in the competitive world. They hold nothing back and the competitors know that as a unified force they are far stronger than one or two lone couples that stand out.

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