Hello everyone and welcome back to From The Top! Today we will be discussing some tips on how to go about co-teaching effectively and successfully! A fellow dance teacher of mine asked for my personal advice on co-teaching dance classes with another teacher and in the midst of diving into this question, I realize what an awesome subject of discussion this is! While done often, co-teaching is an area of dance education that isn’t necessarily widely paid attention to. So, today we’ll be diving into some tips on how to not only co-teach, but how to co-teach well. Let’s get into it!
Co-Teaching Tip #1: Make Sure You’re Both On The Same Page
When co-teaching dance classes, it is important to know each other’s artistic goals. What do you hope to achieve during this dance season, recital or competition? Are your creative imaginations in alignment? Where are your creative differences? These are just some of the things that are extremely important to find out. I highly recommend hashing these out in a casual meeting over lunch, coffee, a phone call or Zoom. Even if the two of you are already well acquainted with each other, it is still so important to get to know each other better on a professional level. Be very open with each other in this meeting and don’t hold back. Share all of your ideas with one another and begin there.
Co-Teaching Tip #2: R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
There’s no way to say this softly, so here it goes. When co-teaching with another dance teacher, leave your egos at the door. Co-teaching is a living dumpster fire when two people can’t respect each others differences, creative and other wise, with grace and respect. Always remember that you two are coming together for a greater, common good and that is to teach your ready and willing students the art of dance. While human nature is common and there may be a time where nerves flare, please do your very best to keep all things respectful. Also, privacy is another leading factor when working out any hiccups that may arrive in the aspect of taking the initiative to deal with any creative issues behind closed doors and never in front of your students. Not dealing with these things in a respectful manner will more than likely strain the business relationship between the two of you and most importantly, affect the energy of your class in a negative way.
Co-Teaching Tip #3: Find Your Flow Together
Now that the two of you have had your meeting and we have the disclaimer of respect out the way, let’s talk about finding your class flow! Two can sometimes be better than one and you may find that to be true when it comes to co-teaching. It’s always fun to sit down together and delegate the responsibilities of each class. For example, you two may decide to have one of you lead the class in a warm up, while the other will do across floor. You may even want to alternate weeks for which one will choreograph and teach a class combo, while the other assists, keeps an eye on the students for critiques, etc.
Co-Teaching Tip #4: Communicate And Always Remember You Are A Team.
Just like you took the time to dive into each other differences, be sure to thrive off of each other’s similarities. Use those places of creative likeness to create the magic! Remember the two of you saw fit to come together as a duo to pour into these students. Please remember to be and stay open with each other and go forward in this with an open mind. If one sees something the other doesn’t, communicate this idea, come to an understanding and build off of this new discovery. Always remember to lean on in each other in the hectic times and difficult spots, because you two are a team! Utilize that and make the best of it!
Thank you all so much for stopping by today for another blog post! We hope this post was able to help you in this new area of teaching, and we wish you and your partner the very best. Have a wonderful holiday weekend and remember…