A good teacher is always a student

If you have worked with me before you will know that I am a great believer in a good teacher is always a student. And yes, I am always learning or reviewing something. So much of the time I am in some sort of student mode as well as teacher mode. It might be a book or a paper or article that I read. It might something online. Recently I have been doing quite a bit of CPD and exploring new topics that i am interested in. My curiosity is always curious.

Having a sense of what it is like to be a student helps us as teachers. To put ourselves in that position of being unsure as a learner, feeling lacking in knowledge or understanding as a learner, reminds us what it is like to be a student. To continue to be curious is something I find valuable in my teaching. For me, curiosity and creativity go hand in hand. So I was excited when I saw a documentary earlier this week about the brain and creativity.

The Creative Brain is presented by neuroscientist, David Eagleman (I came across it on Netflix). In looking at creativity this documentary tells us that we are all wired for creativity. This being the case, it isn’t surprising that dance learners often enjoy creative opportunities in class. Watching this made me think about dance learning and creative opportunities and this raised questions about whether dance learners have sufficient moments in class that encourages and facilitates creativity. Some dance genres tend to facilitate creativity more than others. But could all dance genres facilitate creative opportunities in class?

If you don’t fashion an environment where creators and originators can get things going, you won’t have any new ideas.

nathan myhrvold

Creativity in dance can take many forms. You might think of choreographic creativity as the most obvious one. But what about new ideas about teaching? Dance teaching has gone through, and is going through, changes right now. How we train and develop dance teachers is evolving. We are looking at a bigger picture than we did 10 or 20 years ago. This creativity in action is incorporating new ideas into the dance teaching practices that have been around for a very long time.

Every experience you have is raw material for your brain to create with.

David Eagleman

The Short Online CPD Courses for Dance Teachers that I offer look at different topics including Mindfulness for Dance Teachers, Teaching Dance for Health and Positive Psychology for Dance Teachers. These courses offer you opportunities to look at a bigger picture relating to dance teaching. In their own way they encourage you to be creative in thinking about your dance teaching practices. To perhaps consider new ideas and creative ways of approaching how you teach or what you teach. Being creative in our thinking about our teaching can help to keep teaching fresh and exciting for us and our dance learners.

It is always easier to be a critic than a creator.

Nathan myhrvold

How does it feel to quieten the critic and appreciate the creator or performer in the dance class? This is something that you might struggle with. After all, dance teaching can often focus on corrections and what goes wrong. How often do you quieten that inbuilt critic and simply enjoy the performance?

Does creativity have to be right? Can we be creative just for the sake of being creative? How can we facilitate a positive dance learning environment through creativity? These are just some of the questions you might want to explore when you take my short CPD courses.

I found The Creative Brain an inspiring documentary. Risk taking to spark creativity is something that I am still reflecting on. Being prepared to be wrong is something that we all face in being creative and doing new things. How does this work with say, perfectionists in dance? How does fit into our dance teaching practices?