I’m a Dancin’ Machine…

July 8th, 2011 by Ina L.

I just returned from a wonderful vacation. My husband and I spent five fun-filled days in Las Vegas—at Dance Camp. I have written before that dancing makes me better at what I do. Being a student for an intense week of lessons improved on that.

When was the last time you spent real time as a student? Having to deal with teachers who you may or may not like with teaching methods that didn’t do anything to enhance your learning style? Who had no concept of learning styles? Did they know or care that you might be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic? And here I was dancing all day–one might have thought they’d make it easier for us. Not so.

The teachers just believed we were all kinesthetic learners who would pick up a tango routine in just a couple of hours. They were wrong about that. Some of us really needed the words written down to remember. So we (I) took notes. Those words then played in my head, and I was able to get the routine much better. Can teachers help adapt the learning?

Then there’s the practice. We practiced on our own with a group of friends. After much discussion as to what the order of the steps was, we all tried to dance the routine. What a sorry lot we were. My husband and I had one step totally incorrect in the practice. It wasn’t until the next morning when we went to class that we found that out. Then we had to relearn it correctly. Hmm, how many of our students do that, practicing something incorrectly with no one ever really checking?

This was Dance Camp, and it was lots of fun. I wanted to be there and knew I would have to work hard. So I was willing to accommodate the teachers. I knew they were pros and I could change things as needed or ask questions.

What about our students? Do they really want to be in class? Sure some do, but what about those that don’t? They also are young and don’t always know what they don’t know. They make mistakes and no one fixes them. School should be like Dance Camp. Hard work, learning new things, practicing, and a reward of something new learned and enjoyed. Let’s think about how we can make learning work best for our students.

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