Dance ED Tip #40:
5 things you might have forgotten about before the school year starts

August 28, 2018 - Olivia Mode-Cater

I don’t know about you, but right now I’m in full crazy mode. I’m writing curriculum, designing lesson plans, sending emails, decorating classrooms, choreographing dances, and trying to keep my sanity. During this busy time, it’s easy for some things to fall through the cracks. Here is my list of 5 things you must plan or prepare for before going into the dance year.
1. Create a plan for when students are absent. Is there an assignment they must do? Will that day just not count as part of their grade? Will you catch them up on choreography they missed? Are they responsible to learn it from someone else? What is the procedure?
2. What will happen if a student is injured? Do they just sit and watch? Do they have an assignment they need to do? Will that day just not count as part of their grade? What is the procedure? Check this out if you want ideas.
3. Are you planning on taking photos and videos of your students? It would be a good idea to have them sign a photo and video waiver to protect yourself. At the end of my syllabus I put a section for parents and students to sign allowing me to take pictures and videos.
4. Clear explanation of the rules/class procedures. Have you created a powerpoint or sheet explaining what you expect of the students and the classroom rules? On the first day of class you must talk through what your expectations are, so that you are being clear from the beginning. Even if you’ve had the students before go over these things again.
5. Are you maximizing use of your online portals? Many schools now have online portals that allow teachers to post resources, assign homework, take attendance, and set up a gradebook. Make sure you spend enough time with these resources so that you can leverage them to make your life easier.  
Best of luck to you during these final days of planning!