Plan Like a Teacher, Teach Like a Pro: Review of XPERT’s Pole Instructor Plan Book by Lottie Sanders

Usually, you’ll find me talking on the blog about the amazing training courses XPERT has to offer, but this time I’m going to introduce you to a brand new product that’s sure to revolutionise your lesson planning. Introducing: The Pole Instructor Plan Book, an exclusive resource delivered by XPERT which is designed for you to take your pre and post class journaling to the next level. Stay tuned to find my top three reasons the Pole Instructor Plan Book is going to be your new best pole pal

1. Planned to Perfection – Once you cross the threshold from student to instructor, gone are the days of ‘just showing up’ to class. You have transitioned from the person being told what to do, to being the person to teach a group of others a new skill, and the one calling the shots on what they will be learning that day. The reality of this new prospect is that the best way to help yourself prepare for that responsibility is just to do just that – to prepare.

There are so many variables when teaching a class that you never know what will be thrown at you next. A question you’ve never been asked before, a student who simply isn’t getting on with any move attempted that day, someone visiting from a different studio who has learnt in a totally different way to your studio norm. You need to be prepared for anything. Of course,
you can’t predict for every single variable but you can create a cracking lesson plan packed with fun flow, tricks and transitions that’s guaranteed to keep your class entertained. This is exactly where your ‘Pole Instructor Plan Book’ delivered by XPERT comes in.

This amazing planner breaks down everything you may be teaching in a class, with sections for conditioning, static, spin, and choreography, you will never be short of space for filling in your best lesson plan ideas. And what’s more, there are handy spots for filling in pre-class announcement notes, and objective focuses too. There is no such thing as being too prepared – after all, it is much easier to remember the latest news at the studio that you need to promote to your students, or staying on task with what you wanted your students to achieve, if you have these objectives jotted down somewhere for your own reference.

2. Emphasis on Reflection – Planning is all well and good, but what is even better than planning? Reflection on that planning. Let’s get into the facts of this.

When we plan our lessons, we are writing up a dream list of what we would love for our students to achieve in that class. Within this, we have different markers for achievements – we want them to feel fulfilled, feel challenged, have fun, learn something new, and ultimately walk out the door feeling good. However, all of those things can be tricky to achieve in a single hour session, and it is certainly harder to predict for those variables when there are students you haven’t taught before, or if you are trying something a little different that day.

Not everything we do as teachers can be a success. It just won’t. You can teach a move textbook-perfectly, spot all your students magnificently, get them successfully into the pose, snap an amazing photo and there is still a chance you’ll be met with ‘I didn’t like that one’. Which is absolutely fine! We are allowed to dislike something even if we manage to do it. But it can be difficult to process these emotions as an instructor – after all, we are only human, and we want our students to have the best time and it can feel a little like failing if they have any not-so-positive feedback. However, I think we should flip that on its head. Feedback is good. Feedback helps you grow.

The Pole Instructor Plan Book comes with a handy section at the end of each double page class plan for ‘What went well? What did students struggle with?’ No longer do you need to sit and stew about the ups and downs of your class – write about it, instead. Often, it is not a ‘bad class’. Maybe it was just one move that didn’t work. Perhaps it was a particularly hot and slippy day, so the groans of reluctance you were met with at mentioning doing a pole sit was because of the heat. Did you have several students who attended a class or two on the same night, before yours? Moving forward, you can account for knowing that your students may be a little tired before your session. The variables are infinite, but the point is, if we sit and analyse these differences, we can come to realise that it is not all about us ‘being failures’ or ‘not good teachers’, rather sometimes, unpredictable things can happen. And moreover,
by jotting these variables down – we can plan for the future and ensure we minimise them happening again. Happy teacher, happy students, happy class!

3) All Your Plans, All in One Place – Lesson planning can be difficult. The pressure to come up with something new, exciting, and interesting on a weekly basis isn’t always the easiest thing. So stop worrying about always producing something different.

Let’s not get carried away here – of course, you cannot just show up every single week and do the exact same thing. But we can take previous lesson plans and adapt them. For example, in your intermediate class, you may work on an Outside Leg Hang for week one. So the following week, you might start working on a Hang Glider for those who are really nailing it. The week after
that, you want to change it up totally, and focus on a Cross Knee Release instead. But for the week after that? Don’t forget, you’ve laid the groundwork for your students and their Outside Leg Hangs. Don’t waste the progress that was made in those first two weeks by abandoning it to be forgotten.

All that being said – it is unreasonable to expect you to remember everything you’ve ever taught, and keep a mental note of absolutely all of it. So, pull out your trusty Pole Instructor Plan Book and have a little look back at the things you’ve taught in the past. The diary has a little space for jotting down the date, so you’ll be able to keep track of just how long ago it was you taught those moves, without the pressure of remembering off the top of your head. This feature is also especially handy if you get the inevitable question from your student ‘I want to work on what we did last week’, and you actually have a record of what it was you did. And if you’ve been doing your reflective journaling as I’d mentioned in point two above, you’ll have a record of troubleshooting these class plans too, so you can deliver them more confidently and better informed. After all, the better informed we are, the better our student’s teaching experience will be!

So there you have it: three key reasons to head to the XPERT store and drop the Pole Instructor Plan Book straight in your basket. Go to our Merch page to grab your copy, and get ready to enjoy all the benefits of good class planning coming your way.