Hi! I instruct a group exercise leadership course at a technical college. The course curriculum does include book/lecture components but I am looking to amp up the class this semester and incorporate more practical hands on assignments/activities. Thinking back to when you first started teaching, what do you feel would be a helpful activity to help better prepare you to instruct a class? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Sounds like a great course! The practical side of instruction is very much needed (makes the book component seem easy!). I’ve been teaching over 25 years, and looking back I did have a practical portion of my testing for group fitness. A few things that come to mind are the following:
–Personal Activities: Simple things like introducing yourself and describing the format or theme to the class. Smiling and greeting members by name give a more personal feel. Making eye contact with members and letting them experience your energy may help motivate them more and make them want to come back. Build an instructor’s confidence, because they may be scared to teach and make mistakes at first. Also, one last thing here–proper tone of voice. Practice energetic and motivating voices, but no screaming/yelling at the class.
–Technical Activities: Practice cueing and monitoring the class. Cueing the class for the next move while watching for proper form. Sounds easy, but an instructor always has to think ahead about what they will do next while constantly checking that the class participants are performing an exercises correctly. An instructor must be able to cue and walk around the room to monitor and correct form if necessary.
Also, if applicable to the class, help instructors teach on the phrase of the music or to the beat. This is not necessary in every class, but for some it is necessary–and sometimes you either have it or you don’t!
Last, being prepared and on time go a long way! Hope these suggestions help.