Follow the "Three B's" rule to improve your position and increase your value at any studio where you teach. Be on time, Be professional and Be reliable! Sound's easy enough! Yet there are teachers who, for whatever reason, do not follow these simple rules for advancement.

Follow the "Three B's" rule to improve your position and increase your value at any studio where you teach. Be on time, Be professional and Be reliable! Sound's easy enough! Yet there are teachers who, for whatever reason, do not follow these simple rules for advancement.

I have had the opportunity to teach for Dance Educators of America's Teacher Training School for the last nine years. During that time I have been asked many times by teachers, what it is that increases a teacher's value to their employer. I have always given them the "Three B's" rule. Of course, you need to have knowledge and be willing to learn but without the three B's all of the rest really does not matter. As a teacher and studio owner I have been on both sides. I know that as a teacher, you may sometimes feel unappreciated and taken for granted. Some of it may be true and some may be your perception. If this is an issue for you, go to the studio owner and tell them how you feel. I am amazed at how many times the teacher will not communicate their feelings.

As a studio owner, we sometimes get busy or bogged down with the irritants of the week and may seem a bit detached or disinterested. Try not to take it personally. It may be that little Susie's mom just gave us a problem about her account or her child's placement in class. It probably has nothing to do with you. However, left unattended, this one issue that you are dealing with could create resentment and lead you, as a teacher, to start to become disenchanted with the owner. Ask to talk with the owner at a time when things are calm and do not be afraid to express your concerns. It is important to any studio owner that their faculty is feeling good about working at their studio. As long as you are following those three golden rules you should be able to stay employed for the mutually agreed time and much longer. There have been times when I have discovered that a faculty member was unhappy for one reason or another over something that could have so easily been fixed if there had been dialogue. No one who you work for will be perfect in every way so it makes no sense for you to get angry with them and let it affect your work. Generally a single, calm conversation can overcome most obstacles. It can be hard to forget a perceived slight and go on to teach a killer class but that is what makes you a professional. I have a pretty good idea from coaching studio owners exactly what they are looking for in a teacher. Knowledge is something that every teacher needs to keep acquiring, as trends and styles change. Teachers must be in some kind of learning mode to continue to grow and it is normally expected when you are hired that you will be willing to go with the times and continue to acquire knowledge.

The fact that you are a member of Dance Teacher Web already shows that you are eager and willing to learn! No studio owner would hire you if they didn't think you were qualified and right for their studio. What will really make you an asset to the owner is if you can go that extra yard. A huge part of being a successful teacher is just showing up! If you act professionally and are reliable you will be in demand and an asset to any business owner. It will also be easy when it is time to ask for a raise, as the matter of fact you may get one without asking if you comply with these principles. Continue to grow and learn but above all don't lose sight of the most important fact. That even if you are the greatest teacher with the most unique choreography or fun loving personality it is doubtful that you will advance unless you are also complying with the "Three B'S" rule. Studio owners just do not need the headaches.

Here is a simple list to help you stay on track and give you that edge that will help you promote yourself and increase your value to your employer!

1. Be on time!!!!! This may seem like the simplest thing to do but it is the most important. You can become a better teacher with training but even if you are a great teacher, eventually, it won't matter if you cannot be on time.

2. If you are going to miss your class, plan ahead! This should be part two of "be on time". Please do not call your employer and tell them fifteen minutes before class that you are sick, can't make it or any other reason other than you are on your way to the hospital. If you can help get a sub that would be greatly appreciated. At our school it is part of the job. However you do it, just plan ahead.

3. Have your lessons planned out. Even if you are teaching a basic class, make a plan and keep it at the studio so if you have to miss a class your sub can see what you have been doing with the dancers. This is a great help for continuity with your students. We have found that it is helpful if this class content sheet is in the same book as the class attendance sheets for easy access to subs.

4. Keep a professional relationship with students and parents. Most studio owners do not want their faculty fraternizing with the parents and students. If you choose to, it can undermine your position, as a teacher, with the clients and they may want to ask for favors in regards to their child that could put you and the studio owner in an uncomfortable position.

5. If you are unhappy about something, communicate. It makes no sense to talk to your fellow teachers and especially not to your students and their parents. Most things can be worked out if you sit down with you employer and explain your position or your concerns. The longer you delay in taking action, the worse it will get.

By doing all of the above it will be easy for you to make more money, have a terrific relationship with your employer and a more harmonious teaching experience that will lead you to greater expression and creativity!