Change, some people like it, others hate it. Either way, change is inevitable. At one of the studios that I teach, a change is about to happen. An instructor is going taking a leave of absence and the schedule of instructors will be shuffled. The change may not go over so well for some members and even some instructors. As an instructor, you need to be flexible when the change will help the overall program.
Change makes us nervous. We often inherit a class that is used to the way the previous instructor conducts her or his class. Then we get the inevitable shrinking of attendance until the population gets used to your style. I recall taking over a class for a very popular instructor. I never took her class, but it was always packed. People would hover around the cycling room like vultures over a carcass on the Serengeti Plains just to see if someone didn?t show up for class. Needless to say, people were not thrilled to see a different instructor.
I could take it personally, but that doesn?t bring in the people. Being flexible means I needed to recreate my own following. A different time slot means different demographics. I needed to go back to first of the four Ps we learned in orientation and evaluate who my population was. I moved to a different day and started my class 30 minutes earlier. Once I learned the people, I started to pack the room just as the instructor before me had done.
Well, the time is coming again and I?ll have to make another change. Luckily, I know that when I switched days before, I knew some of the people in the class I will be taking over. I?m excited to make this change. Not only do I get to meet new people, I also get a better time slot.
Whenever your director asks you to change your scheduled class day or time, consider taking her or him up on the offer. We can get comfortable with a class and may slip into a coaching slump. I?m not talking about completely ignoring our responsibilities, but to a point where we coach in a particular way and we become predictible and are almost stagnent in our development.
I?m lucky that I have the flexibility in my schedule to change evenings and time slots. I get to reinvent myself with the changes presented to me. I?m usually the first person asked to switch classes whenever a change is needed. This upcoming change will be good for me and even better for our members.
blog by Ralph Mlady for community.spinning.com 3/3/11
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