1. don't move your feet until I am done teaching something new
2.don't run in your tap shoes, you will slip.
If only 8 year olds listened, right?
I have one student in my class in particular who has always listened to the rules. Her name is Siobhan, but all of the girls call her Shabanny. She has a handicap on her left side, but she loooooooves to dance, and she really loves tap class.. she's actually really one of my good productive girls in the class as well. Until today. Today for some reason Shabanny decided to run after I gave them a quick water break. She slipped and fell right on her weak side and began to cry. I've never been so scared in my life. The last half hour of class I am the only teacher left in the studio, and I do not 100% know what shabanny's disability even is, only that her left leg is not as functional as her right. I picked her up immediately and held her and told her not to worry, and she cried to me that she didn't want to dance anymore (which I am hoping that she only meant for the rest of the class, and not the rest of the year... I really love having her in my class). I carried her to one of our mats and sat there and held her. The rest of my 8 year olds then surprised me. First they all came over to make sure Shabanny was okay.. then they spread around the dance floor and went back to practicing the cramp rolls I was teaching them. Gracie and Nicole helped some of the other girls that weren't getting them right away, and once they got them they began asking each other questions and all helping each other practice their maxie fords and buffalos, coming over to where I was sitting and showing me each move whenever they wanted to double check that they were doing it right.
I began to well up. I smiled and my eyes got watery.
I always tell everyone that I am a "tough guy" I love sports, I am rough, I dabble in a lot of things that guys do, like play video games and actively work my fantasy football roster... but my gosh there are days when I have this soft spot for these little girls. I was so proud of them today. They made me so happy. I've been beating myself up lately saying I am a bad teacher. I feel like one.. unorganized, unplanned, seemingly clueless as to where to go next in class. Then simple things like this happen. Not only do they understand the vocabulary.. they know it enough to teach it to each other at the age of 8. I feel a little more accomplished, a little more important to this studio, and a lot less stressed about one of my many jobs.
Now I just have to find recital music! *sigh*