Since PoleCon historically has been in a new location every year, the local studio sponsor…
I saw this comment come up on social media recently. That some pole teachers aren’t generous, they don’t share their knowledge out of potential fear of students surpassing them, fear of declining income, or some other reason.
There are likely many definitions you could use for the word generous in this context. This might include sharing all the tips you know about a movement, or it might be spending a little extra time than what you and your student have budgeted for. Maybe it means forwarding your student a video you saw of someone else executing a move or sharing a tip that you didn’t create because it’s relevant for them. It could also simply mean being excited when your student achieves something that you couldn’t achieve, or that you could and did do but in a faster or more efficient way.
For me, to be a teacher you must be generous! I want to share all that I know rather than holding information back for a second potential private. Of course, there are times when “info dumping” on your student is counterproductive—they might not be ready for all the content until they have processed the first step—but wanting to share and being willing to share is a key indicator of being generous.
If your students “surpass” you in any way, then that’s great! It means you’re a fantastic teacher and they are a student dedicated to exploration. You were able to help them reach their goals and connect with themselves in an important way.
If you don’t identify as a generous pole teacher or if these analogies make you uncomfortable, maybe sit with that feeling and ask yourself what are you scared of deep down.
It’s normal to feel concerned about your place in the pole pantheon. When the student becomes the master, what use does the student have for their teacher? Maybe you’re worried that if you share other people’s content or admit you don’t know something, then your student will find a new teacher.
Remember, you will always be amazing and uniquely you. Your students won’t be — and shouldn’t be — carbon copies of you. It’s your role to guide safely them to be whatever kind of dancer they will become. And if your student decides not to be your student anymore because they need or want something else, know when to let them go and welcome a new student into your teaching.