Students who successfully complete a teacher education program at The Performance School are characterized by:
1. qualities of patience, compassion, honesty and respect in interaction with peers and students, as observed by their fellow students and faculty.
2. an embodied understanding of the commonly used Alexander Technique concepts and principles by consciously allowing a positive change in their own psycho-physical coordination, i.e. allowing their head to move in relation to their spine in a way that results in a quality of increasing pliability throughout their body; moving which is characterized by a natural sequencing of muscular response, allowing them to respond in a fluid and continually adaptive way; an increasing alertness, awareness, fluidity and poise; and a voice which is clear and resonant, free from habitual vocalized pauses and gasps for air.
3. their confidence in discussing Alexander’s ideas, their own understanding of the Technique and how Alexander’s ideas have influenced their development as a person and a teacher. Forms in which students may demonstrate their knowledge include:
- preparing and presenting a talk on the Technique to a select group (e.g. a psychology department, education department, community group, etc);
- writing a paper discussing their understanding of the principles and how they work;
- developing a wall chart or other visual aid outlining and explaining the principles;
- other means of the student’s choice which will demonstrate this knowledge.
4. an ability to teach the Alexander Technique by clearly and simply communicating the concepts and principles of the Technique by giving clear demonstrations and verbal explanations that are appropriate to the pupil’s learning in the moment; by forming a clear teaching intention, and carrying that intention through each teaching moment; by providing opportunities for pupils to begin to examine their own beliefs and thinking; and when using hands, by using their hands sensitively and appropriately. Both verbal explanations and any use of hands will allow pupils to effect a positive change in their psycho-physical coordination, most of the time.
5. an ability to observe themselves while teaching, and later articulate to an observer the choices they made with regard to using their hands, verbal explanations and physical demonstrations.
6. an understanding of anatomy and physiology as they relate to human movement and behavior, an ability to help pupils understand how mistaken ideas about their structure interfere with their best use, answer pupils’ basic questions about anatomy, and refer them to other sources for more detailed answers.
7. an understanding of ethical issues, an appreciation of safety issues, and a knowledge of when it is appropriate to refer a pupil to another professional.
8. an understanding of the business and marketing skills necessary to begin a teaching practice. Students must have the skills necessary to set themselves up in their own business. They must have the marketing skills to differentiate themselves from other techniques and practitioners, particularly those that the public perceives to be similar to the Alexander Technique. To demonstrate these skills students must
- be familiar with local and national tax requirements, and business forms
- be able to fill out the appropriate forms
- write a position statement expressing who they are, what they do and how they are different from other practitioners in their marketplace and produce
- a brochure describing themselves and their work, or a flyer for a workshop or class and
- a design for a business card or a web site design.
Any business and marketing information students develop should allow a person unfamiliar with the Alexander Technique to get an initial understanding of the basic concepts and principles of the Technique.
(Student who are already in business for themselves may waive 8.1 and 8.2 above).