*All of the following are what works for me. It might not work for you, but try them out.
What I've learned is not to show favoritism (it is hard). It will always come back to you, if you treat someone different.
- Always be one step ahead of the students (look over your lesson plans for 1-2 classes ahead), because some students actually look ahead.
- If you don't know an answer, don't be afraid to say "I'm not sure", then tell them you will have the answer next class.
- If you run out of techniques for the day, have them practice them and even try to invent their own.
- Everyone pronounces the muscles different and explain that to them.
- Reward creativity (some of them have a hard time thinking outside the massage table).
- Have them practice on you (it might look good, but does it feel good).
- Don't bend the rules...it will come back to you.
- Concentrate on their body mechanics (it will make or break them).
- Students can be cocky...if it happens, bring in strangers that are very vocal and can tell them the things they need to improve on (I usually bring past students in once or twice a quarter).
- Stress ethics!
- I try and make as many hands on tests as possible. They tend to go into the massage field, because they are more hands on people.
- Reward them with field trips (most of them will love them).
- If a student has a hard time performing the techniques, ask them to receive first.
- Don't be too cocky...students will lose your respect.
- Confidence is the key to a successful massage student and future massage therapist.
- Students tend to get lazy or scared during their end of the massage program, I call it senioritis. They
are sometimes scared to go out in the real world and make a living at massage.
- It usually takes 3 months for a students true personality to come out; then you will know the real person.
- Use politically correct terms as much as possible (it will train them to use it in every day life).
- Have the students pair up with a different classmate each class (it cuts down on talking).
- If you ever hear of a student that has a "significant other" that doesn't want them to perform massage for a living; then have them bring that person in for a massage during class.
- Don't get to close to any student (spend extra time with them or time outside of class), then the others will be jealous.
- The first hands on class is vital, because that is where you can change them. It's hard to break bad habits 3-6 months down the road.
- Push the students to practice on friends and relatives when they are at home. Have them look at it as homework and future clients.
- The first 1,000 massages are considered practice, then after that it is perfecting your skills.
MORE THOUGHTS ON THE WAY!