Saturday, February 04, 2012

File Under: Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

After teaching Zumba for about six months at a local non-profit fitness organization (that narrows it down a bit, yes?), I was offered another position with a nearby parks and recreation department. The new gig paid about three times as much and, maybe more importantly, seemed to be staffed by people who were… how do you say… sane.

So far, it’s been a good move. It’s a better fit for me, even though I’ll be handing my classes off to another instructor in about four months so I can focus on this baby thing that’s happening. However, in the fall, when I was new and eager to get started (and not yet pregnant), they asked me if I was licensed to teach Zumbatomic, aka Zumba for kids.

As it turns out, I am licensed to teach Zumbatomic. I decided to get licensed last summer because it seemed like an area that will take off given all the interest surrounding fitness and kids these days. But, like when I got my Zumba license, I didn’t exactly try to start teaching it immediately. Regardless, when the parks and rec department straight up asked me to do a winter Zumbatomic session, I enthusiastically responded, “Sure!”

It was November, and “winter” seemed like an abstract concept that may or may not actually happen someday in the vague, undefined future. (Yes, I know I’ve lived in the Midwest my whole live and “winter” should never be an abstract concept.) Not to mention that in theory (not in reality where I had to actually put a class together, practice, and then teach *gulp* children), I did want to try teaching Zumbatomic.

Right now, keeping my shit together for my regular Zumba classes is challenge enough, and part of me hoped that there wouldn’t be any interest and that the Zumbatomic class would be canceled. That was not the case. Nine (nine!) kids signed up.

Let’s be clear about one thing: I have no experience teaching kids anything. I have no experience dealing with kids in any capacity. (“But Lou, didn’t you babysit?” Technically yes. Approximately three to five times in my pre-teen life. So, for all intensive purposes, not really.) My mom, a retired elementary school teacher, thinks this will be great experience for me as it relates to that whole becoming a parent mess I’ve gotten myself into. Great experience for what? For when I give birth to a seven year old in six months?

The class is in two hours. Am I terrified? Not yet. My level of exhaustion this week has been pretty high, so mostly I’ve been sleeping vs. worrying about my total lack of preparation. (OK. So it’s not a “total” lack: I have a lesson plan, which gives me a fairly clear idea of how I’m going to fill 45 minutes. I practiced on my husband, who got a kick out of "acting" like a child. And if all else fails, I have a bucket full of prizes to help coax the kids into participating. And, if that fails, it’s going to be a loooooong 45 minutes.)

The good news is that I only agreed to teach this class for three weeks, to get an idea of what kind of interest there is and how the kids react to the class. After that, I only have to worry about my adult classes. Fingers crossed that I make it through in one piece.

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