I said it before and I’ll say it again. I believe every novice dance educator should take the DEL courseThe Dance Educator Prepares. It not only met my high expectations, but it surpassed them. At the outset, I was asked to write what I hope to accomplish with this course. To me, it was clear. I registered for this course because I needed help with curriculum planning, lesson design, classroom management, tricks of the trade, and varied warm ups. Basically, I wanted to learn how to become a master dance teacher or at least be put on the right track. This past year, as a novice teacher, I was simply overwhelmed. The sheer number of students, behavioral issues, and the classroom space were all major challenges I had to overcome. In addition, I was expected to create year-long curricula for K-4th grades. I kept on thinking to myself: Why am I starting from scratch? Many teachers have already done this and probably better than me, so why am I stressing out about subject matter in addition to everything else.
In this course I have learned various dance exercises, lessons, units, and curricula. I am now armed with a variety of classroom management skills and have been exposed to what an organized, well-developed dance program should look like, by way of example from Ana Nery Fragosa and Catherine Gallant. Ana and Catherine are veteran master dance education specialists who deeply respect each other. Although their approaches are very different, you see them have “ah ha” moments along with us as they continue to learn from one another. It was refreshing to be taught by two current public school teachers who are grappling with similar challenges to mine and to hear them discuss how they deal with them. Thanks to this DEL course I know what I want my program to look like and I now have the resources to help me get there.