Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Question of the Week: Advice for New Instructors

I love hearing your ideas on common questions instructors have for each other. This week's question is: If you could give a new instructor only ONE piece of advice, what would it be?

First, the pieces of advice that multiple people suggested:

Care about your students. It's about them, not you. – Paula J. ...Valerie agreed, saying you should make your student feel better about themselves not worse because they're competing with you! Others extended this idea, with MJ saying to always remain humble and Patti reminding us that you’re an instructor, not a performer. Emma adds  to remember WHY you became an instructor, no matter how popular your class is YOU are only as good as your class… use your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

Christi said, “Connect with your students and make them ALL feel included.” Cindy agrees that it’s all about connecting, including both your students and other instructors. Bonnie had a similar piece of advice: Say hi and acknowledge EVERY single student, no matter what you think of them…. Some students will become discouraged by being ignored.

Keep it simple. If they feel successful, they will return! – Paula Y., Sonja, and Lynne

Cherie said Love what you are there for them and only them...everything else will follow. Efi agreed, saying that if you love Zumba, everything will be OK… students feel your energy!

Some shared very practical, logistical advice:

Rob and Denise both said to always have a back up for music (a CD, a cheap mp3 player, whatever…)
Practice. A lot. – Jacqueline … Darla and Kelly agree, and suggested practicing just by listening to the music a few times to learn the song as well as you learn the moves!

Take Pro Skills – Marylin

If you are facing your students, lead with your left side! – Sandra

Don’t look at your students’ feet. If they are off, then it will throw you off too. Look at their eyes and keep a smile on your face. – Amy

Others focused on the behavioral and emotional side of being an instructor:

Don't take it personally!! – Cindy

Have fun! – Patria

Don't take yourself too seriously - everyone screws up routines every now and again! – Cayla


Don't forget to add the flare!! – Jodi

Patience!! Don't be in a hurry and take your time! – Melanie

And, here’s my advice:

Be a professional. This means dressing the part, checking your own baggage at the door, being prepared and knowing your stuff, having back up music/clothes/whatever, treating all students with respect, and not letting personal relationships (good or bad) impact the class. Even though classes should be super fun for students, it’s  job for us (a fun job, yes, but still a job!) and we have to treat it that way!

What else would you add?


  1. Don't let your life issues show in class! The students need to see a happy energetic instructor :D

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