Why do I need a Pilates Mentor?
In an earlier blog, I talked about my own journey and what Mentorship meant to me and I have reflected a lot on my journey this year as I have some wonderful teachers in my own Mentorship Program now. One of them Shawa you will hear from later in another blog on her journey. I have enjoyed her so much and even though she came to me I realize I am also learning from her. I also realize as people come to my program that we are like-minded in terms of what we want, what we feel in our teaching. I think this is what guides us to each other as teachers right?
When people ask what is a Mentor? What do I get out of your Mentorship Program? Do you think I should do it? It makes me think, why are they asking? It should be something in our gut, something that leads us to the door of that person that we are pulled to. In either their energy, outlook, passion, something in common, a deep feeling in your body that you just know this is for you!
As I talked about for me I was feeling a bit lost, looking for answers and not finding them. Maybe more like I was being told but, not guided to the answers? Does that make sense?
I am sure you have felt that at some point or another as your teaching career has progressed? Or maybe in the beginning? I know for me I have had many of those moments in my over 25 years of teaching.
When we start out as teachers just out of our Teacher Training Program we are so wide-eyed, curious, overwhelmed and just trying to get started. Finding clients, a studio, our way. In those first 5 years, there is something different we are needing that when we have been teaching for say 10 years, 20 years etc. So shouldn’t what we look for in Mentorship or another teacher be different in those moments? As well as different for each of us?
I have had many over the years from my first Teacher to the Teacher Training Director who taught me to be a teacher and all the exercises and more. Then a few I looked to turned out not to be who I thought or I didn’t get what I needed and so you just keep moving forward on and on. It is the same for all of us, we continue to search for those that we connect with not only personally but, in the work of Pilates. To me, it isn’t about who they studied with, how long they have been teaching or where they are in their career of Pilates.
What is it then? For me, I can say it is that environment that I will thrive in. That positive and supportive place where I can ask questions, be supported and learn in a way that lets me go where I should go for me and my teaching. To be told “hey, that is ok! You are doing great! How about thinking on this? Do you see? What do you think?” All of this to make me grow and learn as a teacher.
As I have said before Mentor for me means a person who gives you guidance, support, lifts you up and shows you what you are capable and your gifts. Not what they think or how they teach but, to nurture you and your gifts as a teacher or person.
It doesn’t have to be an older person who has years and years of teaching over you, in fact, what if they had just as much as you? It is that person who has something to teach you that you need or want. Someone who will be with you on your journey not just during a certain time period but for your path as it changes.
It will be fun to hear Shawna’s story as she tells it in a blog later this month. She came to me after going through teacher training then teaching for a bit and thinking “what? I have no idea!” She then stopped teaching and wants to return! Plus she is highly entertaining, so I am sure her view and input to the blog will be priceless!! If you are at the PMA she will be at my booth as well.
So as you head to your day or come home from your day of teaching think about what it is that you feel missing? Is there anything? If you could wish something for yourself in your teaching what would it be? This is what I ask of those coming into my program. I want to know what they are searching for, what they want or need. Maybe they have a question that just opens it all up right?
Our journey of Pilates never ends, just as our clients practice into the work gets deeper so does our ability to understand and dig into the work. It is something we continue as teachers to want. It is just finding what works for you in terms of someone who will join you on YOUR journey or guide you a bit in YOUR journey.
Stay tuned for Shawna’s journey and to find out more on Mentorship Program you can click here