We all know it. Some people start teaching very early. They have just finished a beginner course. Others even earlier, watching a few clips on youtube they start teaching as they are learning. Not the best way to start, but I believe there are reasons to start early, while you are still very new to the dance, and to be honest, also pretty ignorant about it. But I will come back to those reasons.
However, I don't believe there are reasons to stay in that ignorance. I strongly believe that if you want to teach, you need to learn a lot. And there are many reasons to take a teacher training. If I didn't believe that I would be pretty stupid to have taken five different teacher trainings myself.
Yes, you can be a natural talent. You can learn very fast how to teach. Or maybe you already have the pedagogical skills and just need to learn the dance skills. I believe it is possible to become a great teacher without it. But, a teacher training can fast forward all that, and it can open your mind to a lot of things you didn't think of in the beginning. Things that might make you even better than a great teacher. And you can avoid a lot of mistakes.
Anyway, let's get to the reasons.
Respect for Yourself
For me, one reason is that I have always wanted to become as good as I possibly can be. I always wanted to learn as much as I could, so I went to many festivals to learn. And when I started teaching, I realised I needed to learn how to teach too. So I took a teacher training with AfroLatin Connection (Kizomba Level 1) and got my first certificate. They recommended me to take Petchú's training (Kizomba & Semba Course) so I did, and got a certificate there too. And continuing on that path I took two more trainings with Petchú (Kizomba Specialty Course and Semba Specialty Course) and one more with AfroLatin Connection (Kizomba Level II).
Because just like with dancing, I want to become as good as I possibly can in teaching. And I am humble enough to recognize that I am not there yet. I learn new things all the time. But that is because I make an effort to learn.
To be honest, I didn't even want to teach when I started. But a combination of a need for a teacher and a small misunderstanding kicked started it all. Even if I might have one thing I would call a superpower when it comes to teaching, I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning (more about that superpower in the kizomba teacher training course).
If I didn't know what I was doing as a teacher, it would be hard to respect myself. It would be hard to feel good about what I was doing. The teacher trainings helped me in a lot of ways, and I felt I could respect myself and what I was doing.
Respect for the Students
I think this is just as important as anything else. Taking a kizomba teacher training, or any other kind of teacher training for that matter, shows that you care about your students. It shows you want to know what you are doing. You want to teach them well and help them become good dancers.
Dedication to learning how to teach shows respect for the students! It shows a care about the students and their development. And that respect is mirrored back to the teacher.
Now I already mentioned I believe there are some reasons to start early. Like if there is no one else teaching in that city. Then it makes sense to start spreading the joy of dance. Heck, I started teaching after about a year of dancing. Looking back, I wasn't ready. But in a way, it forced me to become ready.
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king."
Other teachers will come along, and over time, the best teachers will stay around. So I believe there are reasons to start early, even if you are a bit ignorant still. But I think we need to respect the students by keep learning and keep investing in how we teach. When we show respect in this way, they will show respect back. We have to stay ahead. A teacher who doesn’t stay ahead will sooner or later lose the respect from the students.
Staying ahead doesn’t mean holding back. Give all you can. Share what you know, but keep learning so you have more to share!
Respect for the Profession/Colleagues
When someone starts teaching, and they have not dedicated themselves enough to learning, it gives the impression they don't think it is very difficult what the other teachers are doing. Most common is maybe teachers of other styles who start teaching kizomba too. They might have the pedagogical knowledge, but lack the content knowledge.
Respect for the profession and your colleagues means you need to educate yourself. You need to get that content knowledge. And if you don't have it you need to get that pedagogical knowledge too. If you don't know what you are supposed to teach, it will not help no matter how pedagogical you are. And if you don't know how to teach, it doesn't matter how well you know the topic.
Taking a Teacher Training doesn't mean you become a great teacher, you might say. And I agree. It doesn't. There is no guarantee. It is not like you walk in a good dancer and walk out a great teacher. And having that certificate of completion doesn't mean you are necessarily ready to teach.
No trainings give you the "permission to teach" or any kind of license. Anyone can teach kizomba. It is not forbidden to do it without a license. There is no authority that gives anyone that "permission". So it is possible to watch a class on youtube and go out and teach it.
And no trainings I have been to give you all the content knowledge. They don't make you an expert at the dance. There are other courses for learning how to dance kizomba and fusion. When you take a teacher training you are already assumed to be good at dancing.
So why take the course in the end?
Taking a course gives a lot of knowledge about teaching and being a teacher. And in some courses you also learn a lot of marketing and business skills teachers need today to become not only a great teacher, but a successful one.
And there is something else important in taking a course. Something that is implied when investing your own time and money.
Would you pay for classes with someone who never paid for classes themselves? It doesn't make much sense, does it - to pay to someone who didn't think it was worth it to pay for classes themselves. I mean, if they believe you can learn without paying, why do they even offer paid courses?
If a teacher doesn't invest:
And if you reverse it, a teacher that invests and maybe take a kizomba teacher training, it is a signal that they care about themselves, they care about the profession and they care about their students.
And truly caring about the students and their development might be one of the most important qualities a teacher can have.
See you on the dance floor! I hope soon!
Suggestion - Check the Kizomba Teacher Training, free classes and other kizomba & fusion courses here
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