Sunday, 3 November 2013
No more teaching.
I've really enjoyed my experience of teaching hoop over the past year.
I've made new friends, helped to build a little hoop community in my town, and I've learned as much - or more - from my students as they've learned from me.
But I'm not teaching hoop any more.
Well, I sort of am, informally. But I'm not being paid to teach, and I'm okay about that.
I live in a small town, so the market was never going to be big. People are curious about hooping but they're afraid of making an arse of themselves so they won't try it [is that a New Zealand thing?]. Enrolments totally dried up for my eight-week courses so they stopped. My drop-in class at the gym didn't have any new students for months.
I have a core group of really dedicated students who come to every drop-in class. Each week I would plan what move I'd teach them next and what little "hoop challenge" I could dream up to keep them interested. But what I eventually came to realise [it took me a while] is that most of them come to class to waist hoop and socialise. Except for one or two really keen learners, that's what most of them want to do.
Add in the fact that the gym started making it really clear that they'd rather we left and made the practice space available for their super-duper group fitness classes, and I started to feel discouraged about my future as a hoop teacher.
So I decided not to do it any more.
My drop-in hoop class has been re-named the River City Hoop Jam. We're a bunch of people who get together to hoop once a week - whether that be waist hooping and socialising, or learning some complicated new move. I provide the music and the spare hoops. The local museum has very kindly let us use their classroom free of charge till the end of the year, and in January we will move in to our [hopefully] permanent home in a disused woolstore owned by a local artist.
That's when I'll start advertising again to get some new people along, who can learn from me or from any of the more experienced students. And I'll charge people NZ$5 per session to cover costs [ie, room hire].
I feel relaxed about all this. While I'm still responsible for organising the group, I no longer feel like I have to keep every one engaged for the entire hour. I can just hoop and enjoy the company of other hoopers.