Guest Article by Hilary Opheim
First published 13 December 2022. Link to original article: Is The Sun Out For You As You Teach Pilates?
Did you become a Pilates teacher because you love Pilates and practicing Pilates? Did Pilates help you with an injury and you wanted to teach Pilates so you could help others heal with Pilates? Did you decide that teaching Pilates would give you a connection deeply with people to help them in their daily lives and movement? There are many reasons someone decides to become a Pilates teacher. The real question is how do you maintain that commitment and passion as the years go forward in your Pilates teaching career?
It happens with every job, the glow wears off and the routine begins. It is as if when you first begin a new job the sun is out and shining. Everything is new and bright then the clouds move in and things become less new and bright. Is teaching Pilates like that? A job? That becomes old and routine? It can be but, we as teachers have control over how our teaching career unfolds.
Teaching for well over 30 years I can say it doesn’t have to, but it can. If you let it. There are so many things as a Pilates teacher you can do for yourself that keep that sun shining every day you walk into your Pilates studio and that client walks in your door.
It takes work and commitment on the teacher’s part but, it can keep the passion and the reason you started this journey continuing and never getting stale or routine for your day. Keeping the sun out as you teach is really just keeping the thread of why you started teaching in the beginning going. Continuing to feed that reason and that thought process as you grow and learn more in your teaching skills. In other words to keep growing as a teacher.
I have seen many teachers come into my Pilates teacher training program wanting to be a Pilates teacher and having this passion, this reason, and intent on venturing down this path. I always tell my students to continue the journey and mentor, take workshops, not for CEC’s (PDPs) but, for themselves to help them with what they need at that moment for their own teaching. Once you graduate from teacher training that is when the real work begins.
The issue is when that work doesn’t begin for the Pilates teacher. I have seen so many new teachers graduate from their teacher training and then stop learning. They will take the required hours to maintain their CEC’s (PDPs) but, just scramble to fit them in and get them done in time. They don’t think of what do I need for my teaching this year. What is feeling lost or not connecting for me in my skills?
Asking yourself as a teacher those questions each year is key to keeping that motivation and passion going in your teaching. It will keep things fresh, recharged, and keep your mind going down deeper paths and work with your teaching.
In a past blog I talked about “3 Reasons I became a Pilates Teacher” and it is important to know why you became a teacher, and what reasons you had to take that path initially.
Keeping in touch with those reasons will help keep that sun shining for you as you teach day after day, month after month, and year after year. Those reasons are fundamentally who you are as a teacher!
Looking each year at those reasons AND what new moments in your teaching have created another reason you still love teaching. These will guide you to study, learn and continue so that you and your clients will benefit from your continued exploration into your teaching.
Every year take a look and ask yourself these 3 questions:
What moment this year was a struggle with a client? Why?
What moment this year brought me the most joy in my teaching? Why?
What do I feel is missing from my teaching, my understanding of the work or body? connection to clients or issues?
Use these answers to look at what you want to study, explore and learn this year in workshops, programs or mentorships. Think long term and not just getting CEC’s (PDPs) but, what will take your Pilates teaching into the sun some more!
Teaching Pilates is a journey I love to say. Learning and growing never stops. As teachers, we go into Pilates curious and wanting to know everything. The key is to never stop that journey. Keep that curiosity and searching going for you and your clients.
Trust me, your clients will notice the growth and knowledge as they journey with you.
Owner/Director/Pilates Teacher at Hilary Opheim Pilates
“I feel that Pilates is a journey and for me it is one of never ending exploring, learning, sharing and community. I have been teaching over 25 years and studied with many who have helped shape my teaching and my life. My continued learning from those that have come before me helps me give Teachers understanding. confidence and community.” Hilary Opheim
You might also like 6 Tips to Stay Motivated as a Pilates Teacher by Hilary Opheim.