When you begin teaching Pilates you may not be thinking of your long- term career of teaching. You go through your Teacher Training Program and learn the exercises, get the knowledge you need to begin teaching at a studio or fitness center and thinking of where you are going to be when you are finished. Where you will be in 5 or 10 years is not really on your radar, much less 20! How do you keep your career as one of discovery, being inspired and still feeling all the joy and passion you had as you entered into the Pilates world of teaching? Is it possible or is it just one of those careers of going through the motions? I have some tips to make sure that you have a career that is long and inspired.
In my over 25 years of teaching, there have been moments where I have had to get creative in different ways to keep my career inspired. I wanted to keep that joy and passion for me as a teacher. It is easy to get into a routine, look at each client the same, teach the same and just go through motions. I compare it to when you get on an airplane and you are in your seat and the whole safety talk with the airline attendants start. The airline attendant is holding the oxygen mask and the seatbelt, giving the speech they have given a million times before, the same words over and over no matter who they are talking to. You can feel the “going through the motions” pattern in the speech. I have seen this happen many times with teachers, it is as if they are that airline attendant giving the same “speech” to each client. Does this sound like something that has happened to you?
Each year I give myself something to really strive for in my teaching. It could be studying a certain subject, working with my Mentor, digging deep with my personal practice and my teacher to really understand and get some movement issue understood in my own body. Pilates has so many opportunities for teachers to continue to grow, learn and be inspired just like the clients! Think about how as your client learns more, understand more and get better at their movement in Pilates they dig deeper, get more challenged and Pilates keeps changing for them so, it is the same for us.
There are a few tips that I share with those that come into my Teacher Training and Mentoring Programs to help keep that inspired Pilates career because all of that filters back to your clients and they feel it and they get inspired as well. This makes your teaching more exciting and fresh and new as the years roll by.
Here are my top 5 tips!
Do a yearly inventory: Every January or whenever you want to make the year begin ask yourself this question “What do I feel is missing in my teaching? “ If it is more than one thing list it out and just do a brain dump on paper of whatever comes into your mind without thinking too hard.
Ask yourself Why?: Take your answer to #1 and ask why? Why do you feel this is missing? When did that feeling start for you?
Do Research: You have your question and your why from #1 and #2 so now it is time to do the work! Is there some sort of deep dive or Mentorship you can do guide you and help you with this missing or lost feeling? Or is this something you can find a course or program on?
Have your own session each week! I tell all my students and Mentees this over and over. Have your own weekly workout with another teacher! This is your workout, what your body needs and wants. The more you learn about your body and your movement and understand then you can take that back to your clients.
Go back to your Manuals and workbook notes! Rediscover all the little details and things that you learned to refresh and see if maybe some had gotten lost for you or maybe you understand in a different and deeper way as you have taught over time.
Following these tips for my own Teaching has kept me feeling excited every day as I head into the studio or to meet with students and fellow teachers. It continues to inspire me and in turn, I can share that with those that I teach. It is possible to have a long and inspired Pilates career but, just like when you were in your Teacher Training Program you have to put the time and work in every year or you become that airline attendant just going through the motions and who wants that?