There are probably a few reasons you have decided to become a Pilates teacher. The reasons can vary from teacher to teacher but for most, it is "Pilates helped me and I want to help others” Taking that journey to become a Pilates Teacher and navigating all that is a Teacher Training Program can make some students feel lost, question the decision and wonder is this worth it? The long hours, practicing, observing, studying can get very overwhelming and it is easy to get the feeling of what am I doing? Why? Can I? I have some tips that help you find you in your Teacher Training Program that guides you not only to the teacher you can be but, to understand why you are on this journey of becoming a Pilates teacher.
I see this struggle in the journey in every Teacher Training class that comes into my Program. We meet for the interview and the excitement and passion is off the charts as the student shares what brought them to the program and why they want to teach. That first class as we start to go over the syllabus and start diving into the work you can see the eyes get bigger and almost see those thought bubbles over the head of the student “this is a lot more than I thought” “How am I going to remember all this? “. I know the look as I had it my first day in my Teacher Training class over 25 years ago and I am pretty sure I had it the entire course! I would look around the studio thinking “How do they remember all that? “ “how do they know to tell the client to do that? “
I wish someone had told me when I started my training program the tips I share with my students. It is the same tips we should also as teachers let our clients in on as they do their Pilates practice. They just like student teachers are learning the exercises and feeling thee work. I remind both and especially the Teacher Training students This is YOUR journey..no one else..YOURS!
Here are some tips for you to find yourself in your Teacher Training or even your Bridging Program
Realize who you truly are not who you want to be- As you are learning you will be seeing different teachers and different ways of verbal and tactile cueing. You will see teachers who are firm with clients and others who are like sunshine and friendly. Embrace your personality and who you are as a person in your daily life. Show that to your clients, be you.
Ask for feedback- Don’t be scared to ask your Teacher Trainer or other teachers for guidance or feedback on an exercise or cueing or how something is done. I tell my students to always come to me when or if they feel overwhelmed because at some point it happens. We can chat on it and get the feeling out and deal with it and those fears, anxiety or doubts will disappear. We have all been there and those in the studio are there to help you as you go on this journey. So let them
Rediscover yourself- There are many hours of practice that are required as you go through your training. Don’t just go through the motion of learning your manual. Feel the work in your body and mind. Find those challenges that you may have and discover how strong you are mentally as well as physically. Pay attention to how you handle fear, doubt or questioning your ability. Focus and dig deep into what you can do. It is always wonderful to see the changes in students from that first week to when they test out.
Life is full of trial and error- My students know that Pilates is not perfect. It is messy, a workout and everyone is different in how they move, get there and what they can do. We all make mistakes and that is how we learn. You are learning and so is your body and mind. That Teaser may not happen today, it’s ok. It may tomorrow. You did the wrong springs? Said the wrong name? That's ok! Don’t beat yourself up. It is the mistakes and moments like those that we learn and grow.
Your strengths will show who you are- One thing I love to share with my students as they go through is seeing their strength show through. The long hours and the mind and body are going through a lot as your Training progresses. You may want to give up but, keep your focus and maintain your path. This strength will show you what you accomplished, how far you came and you did the work to be the teacher you knew you could be
Appreciate what makes you special and wonderful- This is the most important. We all have something that makes us special. It is the essence of who we are and what draws people to you. You are one of a kind teacher and there is no other teacher that has that thing that makes you special.
When you find your way to the studio where you will be starting your Teacher Training Program you will learn the exercises, learn how to teach them, anatomy and all the issues that can occur in bodies that may present themselves to you as a teacher. For a full Comprehensive Training, you will be spending a year or so in this studio and delving deep into all that it takes to teach the Pilates Method.