I spent today subbing dance back at North High. I haven't been in the Dance Room at North at all this year, and I don't know most of the students in beginning dance and half of the students in Intermediate, but teaching dance at North always feels a little like coming home. I ran the program there for four months in the Spring of 2009, and I loved every second of it. I felt needed and useful, and I loved my students - and they loved me, once they adjusted to my larger than life teaching personality and my demanding daily work out.
Friends and family have asked, well, why don't you get your credential and specialize in dance? It's a thought, but in a time of layoffs, the last thing I want to go into is education. There won't be openings for new teachers in years (ESPECIALLY in the arts), so by the time I finished my education and FINALLY found a position - I'm not sure my body would hold up to the stresses of teaching dance much longer. I teach by demonstration, so after five periods of dance in one day - I'm wiped out.
Then there's the other side of it. Many (certainly not ALL) of the students at North High come from homes where their parents could never afford to put them in dance class. So they register for dance in high school. When I came in to teach during March of 2009, they were HUNGRY to learn what I had to offer, what I was so blessed my parents were able to provide for me. Years and years of studio training in dance. You don't find students who are that hungry at very many schools. Plus, North High is SO culturally diverse - and I love that about it. Were I to follow up on this path to teaching, I would hope to land in a school like that.
So, no, I don't think I'm going to get my dance degree and credential (PLUS - I do not want ANY MORE STUDENT LOANS), but I sure love the days where I get to swing in to that dance room and challenge those teens. Days like today make subbing worth while.