Dance Classroom Management: Make Compliance Visible

Hello dance friends!

Today’s behavior management technique modified for the dance classroom setting is called Make Compliance Visible. As always, this technique comes from Doug Lemov’s book Teach Like A Champion 2.0 (paid link), and it is part of most classroom teacher training programs today. As a former classroom teacher, as the founder and director of several dance programs, and as someone who hires and trains dance teachers to better prepare them to teach, I am happy to organize these techniques and make them accessible for you, the dance educator. My hope is that these brief, weekly tips will help dance educators who find this information have more successful classes with more engaged students.

So what does Make Compliance Visible mean? Here is the definition: “Ensure that students follow through on a request in an immediate and visible way by setting a standard that’s more demanding than marginal compliance. Be judicious in what you ask for, specifically because it will uphold the standard of compliance” (p. 393).

This technique is in the section called high behavioral expectations, which I think is so extremely important in the dance classroom, especially when we are working with children. We, as the educators in the room, set the standard for what will happen during our learning time.

The text explains, “As a rule of thumb, the more visible the action you ask students to execute, the easier it is for you to see what students do, and the more that students implicitly recognize that you can clearly see what they do. This makes them more likely to do what you’ve asked and makes it easier for you to hold them accountable” (p. 393).

We are given an example of a school principal who, in an effort to help a classroom teacher who struggled to keep students focused, recommended having 3 scripted points into the lesson plan when the teacher would intentionally bring the class “back to orderliness” (p. 393). The principal, David McBride, asked the teacher on his staff to do the following:

  • Given an observable direction
  • Use “Radar” (intentionally scan and strategically see whether something is done)
  • Narrate the follow-through of at least two students who have demonstrated the desired behavior (and correct at least one student if they did not comply, in order to set higher expectations)

It is important for us to use the Make Compliance Visible technique because when students see other students following directions, accountability is increased for all students in the class. Additionally, the normality of compliance is increased.

I talk about this a bit more and give additional examples in my audio clips in the Dance Classroom Management section of my website for dance educators and dance studio owners, DanceEdStartup.com. Please go there to listen and learn more!

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to share it so that it reaches more dance educators and helps improve more dance classrooms!

Dance Classroom Management: Be Seen Looking

Hey everyone!

It seems that I took an unplanned break from blogging to focus on some other areas of my dance business! But, now I’m back with new ideas and newly inspired, ready to start writing here again.

A little earlier this evening, I was reading about teaching preschool dance classes, and the author recommended that we dance teachers use some behavioral management methods that I will talk about in further detail later–positive behavioral narration and specific public praise.

Behavioral narration and public praise are two techniques I absolutely love using to help manage my dance classroom. However, as I was considering these two methods, I couldn’t help but backward mapping and considering what newer dance teachers might have to do before feeling comfortable enough to use either of those tools.

I know that finding one’s “teacher voice” (and yes, dance teachers have a “teacher voice” also) can be difficult and take years to understand and develop. This made me think about all of the non-verbal cues that I’ve learned to use in my dance classroom space over the years, whether I’m teaching dance for my studio-based dance classes or for my dance programs in schools.

One simple, effective strategies I use is called “Be Seen Looking.” It is one of the short phrases that was drilled into my head (thankfully) during my intensive classroom teacher residency program. It is a tool I continue to use today to manage my dance classroom.

In Teach Like A Champion 2.0, Be Seen Looking is listed as High Behavioral Expectation Technique #51. This technique is described as a way to, “prevent nonproductive behavior by developing your ability to see it when it happens and by subtly reminding students that you are looking” (p. 387).

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When I was taught this technique, I remember being encouraged to do it overtly and with a flair of drama (which is typically my student when teaching). For example, in the dance classroom, after giving a clear direction or explanation such as, “I’ll know everyone is ready when you are all standing with your feet in first position and your arms in low fifth position (or en bas),” I might lift my chin just a little and simply wait, while checking the position of each student’s feet and arms.

I think this is a powerful technique for many reasons:

  1. It is quiet and doesn’t distract from your lesson.
  2. It gives the dance teacher an opportunity to develop their teacher presence and non-verbal teacher “voice”.
  3. It reminds the students that you care about what they’re doing during class time.
  4. It lets students know that they should be vigilant about listening to directions during class.
  5. It’s easy to remember and simple to implement.

The Be Seen Looking technique is part of a cycle that works to get 100% of students’ attention 100% of the time. Page 387 of Teach Like A Champion 2.0 states:

“Great teachers ensure that they have 100 percent of students with them for the teaching and learning; their expectation is 100 percent of students, 100 percent of the time, 100 percent of the way. Great classroom managers generally step in to address distractions earlier than other teachers, allowing their interventions to be almost imperceptible. The recipe implicit in their success is simple and powerful: catch it early and fix it noninvasively, without breaking the thread of instruction.”

That is my Management Monday tip for today, folks!

What techniques are you using or encouraging teachers at your studio to use manage student behavior and maintain atmospheres that are focused on learning in an engaging and artistic environment? Let me know in the comments!

Do It for the One

Rachel Hollis talked about it on Amy Porterfield‘s podcast. She said, “We created it for her. The podcast was for her. The second podcast was for her. We’re having the response that we have because the style was entirely my own but the content is in response to what she’s asking for.”

When I think of all my Dance Daze students (both at the studio and at schools across the United States) and when I look at all the memories I have created for my businesses: I think of one child, one day, one family, one teacher, one moment.

When I think of starting that Dance Daze in Schools program in the Bronx, New York, I remember how rewarding it felt to bring in that one male teacher who wore glasses and had grown up there. I remember feeling that, in bringing him onto the team, I got to, in a teeny tiny way, be part of his experience of giving back to the community that raised him. I got to be part of him waking up every day as a successful man, human, and teaching artist.

When I think of the school in Oakland, California, where I had the privilege of teaching dance for an entire year, I remember that group of 6 middle school boys and girls who asked me why I smiled and laughed so much. I told them it was because I was happy.

And when I look at photos and videos of all the performances we are doing today, I’m overwhelmed to be part of creating magical moments for each of my students. I’m overjoyed to be part of helping them fall in love with the art of dance. But really, when I see 15 of my students showing up and dancing on these California roads with me, I think of her. I think of her mom looking at me in my eyes and saying, “She wants to perform. She’s ready.” I remember feeling the responsibility of providing positive performance opportunities for her when her dad asked me when we would be performing.

So when I look at them, I see her. One child, one family, one day, one moment.

And I’m so so grateful that by focusing on the one that I get to be part of the lives of many.

Are you interested in learning more about what I focus on in order to best serve my clients (my students and their families)? Go to www.DanceEdStartup.com and join my mailing list! Each week, people on my mailing list are getting dance-related business tips in my video series called “Two Tips” and this month (May of 2019) they’re also getting a live webinar every Sunday morning! Sign up today!

 

School Has Begun for Dance Daze!

School is back in session, which means we’re back to Dance Daze in Schools! This program allows us to bring introductory dance classes to students at their own schools, during or after school. We offer dance and movement classes, including ballet, hip hop, jazz, tap, Latin dance and yoga; health education; and introductory music classes. The Dance Daze is Schools program is completely customizable!

Contact us today if you’d like to start a Dance Daze at your school!

October Updates

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Hey Everyone!

I hope this month has been treating you well!  We’ve made a few updates to the Dance Daze sites recently, and I want to share them with you!

  1. We added more information about the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum we implement in our ballet classes on our About Page.
  2. We created a brand new YouTube account, and we will use it to showcase our work and performances!  (Yes, that means, with your permission and consent, YOU may be featured in a video on the Dance Daze YouTube Channel!
  3. We added some convenient social networking buttons at the top right column, so you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube more easily!
  4. We categorized our links at the bottom right of the page and added more links for local dance supply stores so you know where to shop for appropriate dance attire and shoes!
  5. We made HUGE changes to our Class Descriptions Page in order to give you a better idea of what type of vibe, energy, and overall classroom environment to expect in each class!
  6. We added a Notes Tab to our Facebook Page, so you can now view all of our most recent blogs there, if you’re more of a Facebook person than a regular website person!

In other news, we’re happy that we’ve been getting a lot of inquiry about our classes! Our street sign on Foothill Blvd. is getting noticed!  Also, we are VERY excited that we’ve started teaching an after-school Hip Hop Dance program at an elementary school in Hayward! We love being able to bring our dance program into the community and deepen our connection with our students and their families!

We look forward to seeing you in class soon!