You know it’s coming…Parent Observation Week! The week many teachers dread, especially if you teach little ones! It never fails… they cry, hurt themselves, pee in the middle of the studio, or just stare at you while you do the Hokey Pokey by yourself, all while you have a “paying” audience as witnesses… Thanks, kiddos!
I never looked forward to parent observation week, until I created the DiscoverDance program. Now, it has become one of my favorite weeks in the dance season! Sure, the parents can watch through the viewing window each week. But, it is during observation week that the parents learn WHY this program is so unique and beneficial for their child’s development! I’m not just selling dance classes and I LOVE explaining that to the parents.
I go through my lesson plan step by step and explain why we do the things we do. I share with them how their dancer’s creative and physical development is more important than mimicking a cute dance routine. My two year olds show their parents how repetition gives them confidence and how the use of props enhances their learning. My three year olds yell out words like “locomotor movement” and demonstrate all the creative ways we can get from one place to another. I explain to the parents that the four year olds always do their showcase dance by themselves first each week, so that their brains and bodies can work on memory development, and by the end of the season they will be able to do the entire dance without my assistance.
It is such a fun week for me and I wish the same for every dance educator out there. Is it still a crazy week? Heck yea! But, in the end, the parents themselves DISCOVER why their dancers love dance, see their dancers’ DEVELOPMENT and leave with their own APPRECIATION for the ART of dance.
TEACHER TIP: ALWAYS give a disclaimer and blame the craziness on having an audience present.
“Even though we would love for today to be a normal dance day, it won’t be because we have an audience. But, we are glad you are here and we are going to do our very best!”