Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder

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I’ve been gone from this blog for what feels like a lifetime. And although it hasn’t actually been an entire lifetime, it has been a while. Let me explain…

I’ve been hard at work growing and developing Airborne Circus, my circus school. Over the past few months I’ve taken it from around 20 students per week to about 60 students per week. Most of our classes are full now, although we’ve still got plenty of space in the daytime classes for home educated kids. It’s been an exciting period for me. I’ve had to structure and systematise – something I’m good at – as well as write down various procedures and processes that I more often keep in my head so that I can start to hand over some of what I do day to day to my colleague, James, who has been working with me (teaching classes as well as back end stuff) for the past few months. It’s been a great process and, although it was extra work to begin with, has freed me up to start to concentrate on the bigger picture and more interesting projects. Currently, we’re getting ready for our summer holiday workshops which are coming up at the end of July.

As our classes fill, we’ve been looking at how we can continue to grow and expand what we offer. I’m currently starting to look for new venues in the Finchley area where we can run classes. (If you know of anywhere suitable please get in touch!) Ultimately we’re going to be looking for more permanent premises where we can base Airborne Circus full time but I’m taking it one step at a time. We’ve got big plans and bigger ideas though.

Blogging here has taken a back seat and will continue to take a back seat while I focus on growing Airborne. I am still writing some posts on the Airborne Circus blog but they are a bit different to what I usually post here. Hopefully my absence has and will continue to make your heart grow fonder.

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Teaching Tips 3: Take Fun Seriously

Ever since I started teaching I’ve strived to continually develop myself as a better teacher – either by learning (or refining) circus technique, learning related subjects (eg., gymnastics, first aid, leadership), or developing new ways of being and working with young people to get the most out of them.

Through these posts I hope to be able to offer you some new ideas, tips, and thoughts that will encourage and support you in being a better teacher.

Take Fun Seriously

Some of the worst teaching I’ve ever seen has been watching people work with children or young people and be very serious. I’ve watched coaches and trainers reprimand children in front of a group for doing nothing more than Continue reading

Teaching Tip 2: Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

Lesson planning has been the bane of my life. Or at least it was until I started to get good at it. I think a lot of teachers – regardless of whether they are school, circus, or any other kind of teacher – hate doing lesson planning. Lesson planning takes time, and in this day and age time is something of a precious commodity. But I don’t think that’s what really bugged me. It wasn’t the time; I can always make time for stuff that’s important. It seemed like a lot of effort for something that wasn’t very important and didn’t really make any difference.

But as teachers all know lesson plans are really important and do make a big difference.

But if we know they’re important, and we know they make such a difference, then why don’t they seem important when it comes time to sit down and write them? And why are they always so much effort?

Continue reading