There’s lots of resources out there for warm ups – a quick google search brings up a whole host of ideas to use with your classes. In fact we’ve blogged about this before – check out these posts here to see some videos to use in your own teaching.
But trying to research ideas to warm YOURSELF up as a teacher is a whole other matter. If you are a sports coach, dance artist or class teacher that delivers dance, have you ever thought about warming yourself up before? It’s a topic I’ve thought a lot about recently.
As a visiting teacher myself, I’m often rushing from one school to another. And when I do arrive my priority is making sure the space is safe to dance in (especially if it’s straight after lunch time!). So there’s often not much opportunity to fit something in before I start teaching. And if you are coming into the dance space alongside your class, it’s not often viable to do a separate warm up before the session starts.
But it is vital that you take care of your body. Delivering creative dance and responding to children’s spontaneous movement ideas means you could be whizzing around the room as a deflating balloon one minute, and then flinging yourself to the floor the next. Having a body that has been mobilised and made supple means it is definitely going to cope better with these types of activities than one that hasn’t.
If you join in the class warm up alongside your children, then that’s definitely beneficial. But sometimes, that might not be possible, especially if you are leading a circuit-based activity. Or the movements might not be appropriate for the needs of your own body (I’m definitely noticing this more as I age.)
Even if you can find one or two minutes to yourself to do some gentle movements before you start teaching, you are going to reap the benefits. And it also helps prepare you mentally for the activity you are about to deliver.
I’ve created a very simple movement sequence which I aim to do before the start of each session. It’s gentle, calms my mind and gives me a good stretch before I get going. The movements might not suit the needs of your body (or the activity you’re about to teach), but might give you some ideas for making up your own.