Using the final minutes before your preschool, kinder, or creative movement class thoughtfully will give you a huge advantage during the class to come. Waste those precious minutes and you might be setting yourself up for a frustrating experience.
Here are five things I do before every class:
Arrive early. Arrive at least 15 minutes before your first class starts so that you have time to breathe and relax. If necessary, make adjustments elsewhere in your day.
Prepare the classroom. Turn on lights and ceiling fans, set the thermostat, set up your iPod and check the sound level, place spots on the floor, put on your shoes, stretch. Gather the props you will need so that you won’t have to leave the classroom while you’re teaching. Tidy up the room and remove distractions.
Review your lesson plan/teaching notes. Take a minute to review everything you are planning for that lesson, including what music will accompany each exercise.
Greet students at the door. Keep the classroom door closed until about two minutes before start time. Don’t let students who may be waiting to come in rush you. Remember—you are the teacher and you are in charge. Once everything is ready, open the door and greet each incoming student with a warm “Hello!” and a smile.
Set the tone. Show students where to put their shoes and/or dance bags, and help them find the spot where they will stand or sit to begin class. Remind students to wait patiently and quietly for the others. Some students will have trouble with this at first—the big, empty classroom space seems like the perfect place to run around—but continue to guide them firmly and gently.
These tips may seem like no-brainers, but they help tremendously to create a calm, disciplined atmosphere for our youngest students.
Kim Hungerford is the founder of The Ballet Source.