Teaching Tips

Not Teaching This Week? An Ideal Time to Tackle Some Small Projects at Home

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With studio closures and shelter-in-place restrictions throughout the country this week due to COVID-19 concerns, dancers are putting creative skills to use in a myriad of new ways with each given day and new scenario. If you are stuck at home, consider a few of these projects that frequently get pushed down our long "to do" lists.


UPDATE

This week can be the time to update your resumé or CV. Months and years easily slip by without documenting your latest accomplishments. Consider all of the categories: teaching, master classes, performances, choreography, workshops (which you lead or attended), writing, grants and service work. In addition, update your bio and sketch out a few bio options for quick reference in the future; write three different versions (one paragraph, three sentences and one sentence). Then, take a few minutes to share these new bios with each of your employers (as they might be using their time this week to update their websites).

As for your own website, revisit and refresh each page with new text and photos. Or, it might finally be time to create your own simple website that you have wanted for so long. If you are launching into website creation, first take an hour to glance at colleagues' websites. What categories do they use on their sites? What key information is on the homepage? Check out artists Audrey Johnson and Brandon Cournay as a starting point. There are many website tools and templates easily available on the web, such as Wix and Squarespace.

REVISIT

Music is so essential to our work, and variety is key for teachers and students alike. One idea for this week is to go back through your music library on your computer to revisit music you have purchased and downloaded in the past few years. Spend your hours at home enjoying some of this music and create some new playlists for your upcoming classes.

JOIN

Dance service organizations are highly valuable to find out about jobs, funding, relevant articles and research, online forums to discuss teaching questions and national conferences for professional development and collegiality. Consider joining the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) for $115 a year and Dance/USA for $100/year. If you file taxes as a freelance artist, you can write off these yearly fees.

READ

These four websites offer a wealth of resources and information to apply to your teaching work. Check out:

Center for Childhood Creativity for research on early childhood education and learning environments to develop creativity.

Greater Good Science Center for articles on mindfulness education and social-emotional learning, plus pieces about workplace culture.

Edutopia for reading material on classroom management, growth mind-set, arts integration and teacher burnout.

CompassPoint for posts about the business side of running organizations with topics such as leadership, finances, equity and interpersonal communication.

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