While teaching full-time, I was faced with a crippling injury—a tear to my labrum in my hip. Due to my temporary loss of ability to fully demonstrate, I felt lost as a teacher.
After the first surgery to repair my hip, I returned to teaching the day I was medically cleared. As a former professional ballet dancer, demonstrating was the most natural way of teaching for me. I wanted to get back to teaching my classes the way I had before the injury so badly that I sometimes ignored the continued pain. But I soon realized that pushing myself too hard, too soon, may have impeded my recovery. I was unprepared to make adjustments in order to deal with the damage to my body.
After two subsequent surgeries (a labral repair on my other hip and a labral reconstruction), I've learned a great deal about how to handle injury as a teacher and the self-care required to continue doing what I love. Here are a few of the lessons I have learned.