Diane Smagatz-Rawlinson has spent 26 of her 33 years in dance education at Wheeling High School in Illinois. She has mentored a number of dance-certified alumni and, this past spring, she welcomed her seventh student teacher to her classroom. Here's her advice for empowering student teachers.
At Wheeling High School in the Chicago area where I teach, more than 85 percent of the students are taking their first dance class. My advice to any new student teacher is: Avoid assuming that students already know how to count music, travel in lines, recognize terminology or even understand basic classroom etiquette.
Student teachers here lead four or five classes every day in dance and/or physical education for 8 to 15 weeks, depending on university requirements. Here are some of the ways I help prepare them for success.