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The Joy of Teaching

I am so happy and grateful that every day I go to work I have fun, learn a lot and experience much joy, this is the joy of teaching. I also give a lot and share a lot of useful information to teachers, parents and children to help make their lives easier and do it in a way that’s fun and doesn’t feel like learning. That’s because I don’t teach in the traditional sense of teaching.

I started out as a dance instructor teaching in a traditional dance studio and helping out my best friend. This was not my full time job, just something I loved to do and had so much fun doing. My full time job was in corporate sales. I have sold financial products and services, audio and video tape duplication services and yellow pages and newspaper advertising. And although I felt I was helping others something seemed to be missing.

In addition to working full time in sales I would study dance in the evenings and all day Saturday. I auditioned and received a Scholarship for dance at Gallman’s Newark Dance Theatre . I also studied dance in New York City taking different styles and teachers. I never dreamed that dance would be a career.

During this time my best friend had a dance studio and was doing an outreach program for inner city youth. One day I taught for her as she was pregnant at the time, and had the time of my life. It bought back memories of working with the children at Adagio Dance Studios while I waited for my classes to begin. What I loved about teaching dance in preschools is that it takes place during the day. As opposed to doing it in the evenings and after work or on Saturdays. To me doing it this way was very conducive to family life, a big priority for me even though at the time I was not married or had children. I knew that one day I would want to be married and have a family.

To me it had to be worth it to the school to have someone to come in and teach their children. I saw that 2 needs could be met simultaneously with teaching dance and reinforcing what they learned in school. The dance could be used as the medium for teaching and the children could have fun and learn what they had learned in preschool in an experiential hands on way as opposed to primarily didactically.  Didactic learning is the way we normally think of school and learning where the teacher speaks or writes on the board and the students take notes and repeat it back to the teacher either verbally or in the written word.

I feel that it is much easier to learn with all of ourselves and to learn by doing. Think about it. To learn to write your name you had to physically do it. To tie your laces you had to physically do it . To ride a bike, learn to swim you cannot learn to do that just by reading in a book.  You could not learn these things from a lecture. How do you address the needs of learners who need to learn by doing, with their bodies what we call kinesthetic learners. Which is actually a learning style.

What I love about what I do is that it so transformative. Something takes place on the inside of children you don’t see it at first, it’s invisible. But over time I see children blossom like beautiful flowers. I see shyness, fear, uncertainty  turn into confidence. I see frustration turn into mastery and competence which add to a child’s esteem. I see children working together in a collaborative effort, developing compassion and empathy for others. I see children so enthralled with wonder and excitement and anticipation. Children are engaged and present filled with happiness and joy. Wow!!!!!how wonderful !!!!!!!! You cannot put a price tag on that!!!!!!

The best thing of all was that unlike selling an ad or tapes, the effect that I had on children lasts much longer. I now have students that I taught long ago that are now in college or on their way. Their parents tell me the effect that my teaching and classes had on their children and had on their ability to succeed in school and life. I am filled with joy everytime I hear and experience it. What’s even more wonderful is when the kids remember me themselves.

I can’t think of anything other than seeing my own daughter succeed and be happy, that brings me the type of joy that I get with teaching my students, even the adult students bring me joy and I am happy and grateful to do it. Thank You God!!!!!!!!!!

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