Thank you for asking this important question, Shannon.
New teachers are often more comfortable teaching in a group setting, and may not be as confident delivering a private session.
Quality teacher training programs will require that their students complete a number of practice teaching hours to earn their certificate. These hours should be a balance of both private and group sessions so that the student is learning to become comfortable with delivering an effective movement experience regardless of the setting.
In the beginning, new teachers should pursue clients that fall into the category of healthy individuals, without musculoskeletal injuries. Avoid taking on clients with injuries until you have the appropriate training and experience. Your teacher training program director or mentor can help you determine when it is the right time for you to work with a more complicated client.
If you find your self in a situation where you have a client that divulges an injury, that client should be referred to the appropriate professional (ie physician, physical therapist). Connecting with your clients healthcare practitioners is a great way to receive guidance about types of movements are appropriate, and whether that client is ready to work with you.
When approached by a client that is outside of your current skill level, refer them to a more experienced instructor and ask if you may observe their sessions. This is a wonderful learning opportunity.
Practicing on your fellow students teachers or other instructors in your studio is a great way to hone your teaching skills, and to become comfortable in the one-on-one setting.
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Holly Wallis, Certified Movement & Rehabilitation Specialist, PMA®-CPT
Director of US Operations, Body Harmonics Pilates & Movement Institute
Studio Director, ReActive Movement, 6200 LaSalle Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
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