What Makes A Good Teacher?

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
"... is something less true, and therefore less credible, because it is spoken by a child? Or because their station in life happens to be lower than yours?
On a related note, one of my most important lessons as a teacher was that an idea is useless to the student until they are really ready for it. The better behaved ones would smile, and thank me for the wonderful insight, all the time just not getting it! And when they are ready, it doesn't matter who says it, the light bulb goes off, and they make a huge change. The best I can do with students that stick with me is to guide them to the point where they are ready for the idea.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
That's fine for truth that is self-evident. i wouldn't say most business practices fall into that category unless they are in regards to moral ethics.
well...very little is self-evident via internet, so it seems silly to over emphasize the suspect nature of it when you have solicited advice from that audience knowing fully well that most are anonymous...
 
I totally agree with this. I am aware that there are a couple schools of thought on this that have been presented here, but I genuinely believe that to be considered a "good teacher", one should be at least as skilled as the most advanced student at the school (social dancer bias here). My home studio currently has a dirth of advanced teachers, and as a student who has been there for >5 years, I find it very difficult, if not impossible, to respect as authority figures the teachers who are less skilled than I am right now (which is most of them). I would never spend money to take lessons with them, and I avoid their group classes.
Social dancer here. :) I think a teacher should be an order of magnitude more skilled than his/her students. I'm speaking from my experiences both as a student (As a newbie, I had a staff instructor who was about prechamp level albeit with access to high-level instruction) and from helping collegiate rookies. I've heard some college teams ask only that people be at least one level above those they are teaching. For example, a (collegiate) gold dancer could teach only bronze and silver dancers. IMO, there's a big difference between what my body knows (execution) and what my mind knows and understands well enough to break down and explain in that one particular way that gets through to someone else. I can't really put a number on it, but I'd guess that I feel comfortable teaching only about a tenth of what I am able to dance.

There's a similar discussion here:
http://danceforums.com/threads/do-dance-teachers-need-to-know-silver.2202/
 
It IS an awesome name. :)

Respectful. Courteous. Not trying to sell me something. Teaching me what I need to/want to know. No need to create a "romantic atmosphere."

It's not a sales industry, it's a service industry.

You're selling a service. If you make it a top notch service, people will want to come back, and you won't HAVE to sell the service. The service will sell itself.

.

The dance business the way I've seen it done is a sort of hybrid between service and sales. All the dance instructors I've ever seen were tasked with providing the service and selling the service. In my case, I've often had to be in charge of my own marketing as well. Every business has a sales department, somebody that is trying to educate the customer on the benefits of their product. Businesses selling high
ticket items like dance lessons need individuals who know how to push the right buttons with each individual client. I can't imagine who would do that besides the instructor. Though in fairness, I have seen closers brought in from time to time to take care of the final stage of the sales process
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
You have seen one particular implementation of the dance business, which is not the only model.
It is the model where the primary goal is making money for the owner of the establishment. It is not the only model. It was the model of the first place I learned to dance.
 
You have seen one particular implementation of the dance business, which is not the only model.
It is the model where the primary goal is making money for the owner of the establishment. It is not the only model. It was the model of the first place I learned to dance.
I can't imagine a better model assuming it's implemented ethically. It's a model which trains teachers to be independent. Essentially, someone who's able to succeed in such a model is able to run their own business, especially if they can take care of marketing.
 

chomsky

Well-Known Member
A good teacher learns from their student. And a good student teaches their teacher.
wow...wow...wow...I have no words...I'd never expect to see this written. My feelings exactly and thank god my experience too. Thanks ever so much Frotes. Now this is a lesson for me.Many many thanks.
 

dbk

Well-Known Member
I offer it... no one really ever takes me up on it though.
I imagine it provides it's own safety valve - only the students who are able and willing to put their problem into words will actually email you. No "does this look OK" or "I forgot, show me again."

Of course, if you start getting video... :p
 
I think they have two parts to them with the first part being the more important

First part:
A good teacher genuinely loves his students and is able to connect with them on a personal level. They are sincere and have fun teaching their student. They understand the skill level of the student and know how to gently ramp up the difficulty so that the lesson stays fun and easy. They are entertaining people to be around.

Second part:
Knows the benefits of his/her product. He genuinly believes in his product. Is able to educate their student on all the ways their product will provide solutions for whatever issues they have in their lives. He is confident in his abilities. He know the right time to ask for the sale (after the customer has been educated on the benefits). He's a tireless promoter of himself. He takes every opportunity in his life to invite people to come to the studio to try out his product. Has good social skills and EQ.

The first part is more important because without it you'll have no students regardless of how proficient you are in sales and business. If you have the first part but not the second part you should be able to find a few students. If you have them both down then you have the potential to be a state sales champ.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
the second part is about having a lucrative career, which certainly is important...but it is arguable as to whether or not it is part of what constitutes being a good teacher..that is more about being a good marketer...obviously, in ballroom as opposed to other sorts of teaching, having some marketing skills is a bonus unless one is plugged into a system which feeds them students on a fairly regular basis
 

ajiboyet

Well-Known Member
For me, a good teacher:
1. Knows his stuff. I've got to be confident in him, if the subject is ballroom dancing.
2. Knows how to communicate it, depending on what kind of student he has.

Now, I can't stress the combination of the above two points enough. Personally, there's a lot of things that I know that I find very difficult to teach others, even though I try. And I get frustrated after a not-very-long amount of time when they're not getting it.

3. Doesn't let things get in the way of the time I paid for.

I think if I have those, I'm good.
 

ajiboyet

Well-Known Member
agree...I would add; a reasonable amount of patience
People learn at different rates. I like teachers who can be patient when it's obvious that the student is trying and putting in the effort, but isn't making expected progress (this can happen for any number of reasons). I do not like laziness generally, and I generally am impatient with people who are wasting my time by not trying.
 

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