A Unique Approach to Instructor Development
Over several years, I collaborated with Maria Teresa Stone on a workshop that revolutionized the way instructors hone their skills. The workshop involved recording instructors performing exercises in both water and land settings, shedding light on the visual impact and altering my instructional approach.
Reshaping Instructional Styles
This approach not only transformed my way of teaching but also provided a profound learning experience for participating instructors. Many were surprised to discover they unwittingly made the same technical errors they often corrected in their participants. It illuminated the challenge of rectifying unnoticed mistakes.
Unveiling Technique Challenges
For instance, the conventional wisdom is to synchronize opposite arm and leg movements in a cross-country ski exercise. However, this workshop uncovered that 50% of instructors struggled with this fundamental technique, oblivious to their error. This realization has elevated their proficiency and cultivated empathy for participants unaware of their movement patterns.
Understanding Water-Based Exercises
The workshop also proved eye-opening as some instructors hadn’t fully grasped the intensity of water-based exercises. While present in the water, the revelation occurred when they pushed themselves, experiencing a significant increase in heart rate and muscle fatigue. The recurring sentiment was a surprised acknowledgment of the workout’s difficulty.
The Power of Self-Reflection
As a valuable teaching tip, I recommend recording yourself in both water and on the deck while teaching. This self-assessment serves as a potent tool for personal growth. Are you content with what you observe, or do you identify areas for improvement? Becoming your own best mentor through self-reflection is a crucial step in evolving as an instructor.