Gilded Serpent presents...
Preparing to Teach
by Anthea Poole

This questionnaire is presented here to help you clarify your goals and ideas about teaching. If any of the questions really stump you, perhaps it is a clue about an area you need to work on before you "open your doors" to students or sign up to teach through your local Parks & Recreation Department!

1. Identify and define the style/genre(s) of Mid-Eastern Dance you wish to teach.

2. What particular strengths/skills (relating to the dance) can you offer students?

3. List all the reasons why you believe that you want become an instructor. (Be candid.)

4. List several reasons a student might have for wanting to learn to belly dance.

5. Outline a 1-hour lesson plan from start to finish, including:

a. Specific material you intend to teach, background information, and warm-ups/stretches that pertain to your chosen material.

b. Describe or "teach" the material in two different ways, relating the material to each of the reasons you listed in Question Four.

c. Give an example of possible mistakes a student is likely to make, and how you would correct the error.

d. List accessories and teaching aids you will need to bring to class.

e. Prepare an estimated time allotment of each part of the 60-minute class.

6. Outline a 4-week lesson plan, and explain why you chose the particular material and how it relates to the dance as a whole.

7. What are your 6-month goals for your instruction? (Please answer in terms of yourself, then in terms of your students.)

8. What are your long-term (chose 1, 3, or 5-year term) instructional goals as they relate to both yourself and your students?

I hope this has given you some ideas about the necessary background research and course development that you should have in place before you start teaching. Use your answers to develop a syllabus you can offer prospective employers along with your resume when you approach your local dance studio or community education program about teaching Mid-eastern Dance.

Recommended course material: "Guide to Teaching Mid-eastern Dance" (Kawakib's Dance Tips)

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Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

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