Although deep down, a student likely knows whether or not they are doing well in class, it’s always better to provide progress reports than leave them guessing.
If you’re teaching dance, you should give constant feedback and direction to your students. This is especially important when you’re teaching children, as their parents will want to see that their money is being put to good use, and that their children are improving. Dance studio management software can easily and quickly help you provide consistent report cards for your students. Rather than struggling to keep up with it yourself, let us help you help your students learn.
Assessments Lead to Improvement
Assessments are a critical element to dance instruction, because they are the only way to determine if the goals of the class are being achieved. Progress reports tell us whether or not the student needs additional instruction, where they are struggling or excelling, and so much more.
For some students, simply knowing that they will receive a progress report can lead them to taking the instruction more seriously. Then, once they have the progress report in their hands, they will know where they need to work harder to achieve optimal results.
What gets measured gets improved, and measuring things like knowledge of technical skills, attitude, behavior, attendance, their understanding of the choreography, etc… can be the difference between a good dancer, and an incredible one.
Using The Studio Director dance studio management software enables you to quickly and easily create a customized progress report for each student. You can add notes, share tips for improvement, and send them by email in less time than you might expect.
Communication is Key
Students want to feel like their instructors care about them, and communication is a big factor in relaying this care. They want to know that they aren’t just a line item on a budgeting spreadsheet. The goal for them is to have a good time while learning choreography, but also to perfect their skills. They can’t know if they are actually achieving this goal if the professionals they have come to aren’t providing them consistently with the feedback of their progress.
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) found that “one of the most powerful keys to unlocking student motivation and perseverance is feedback.” While their organization is based on academics, their findings apply to the arts as well. In fact, in that same report they acknowledged that the reason creative outlets such as video games are so addictive is “partly attributed to the constant stream of feedback they provide.”
Giving actionable feedback to your students encourages them to keep coming back. The feedback in your student progress reports should be both positive and negative - encouraging, yet honest. Yes, tell them the truth about areas they are doing poorly, but give helpful notes regarding the best way they can improve. In other words, don’t leave negative comments without including a positive idea for adjustment.
Progress Reports Can Reveal More Than You Realize
Regular progress reports let a student see patterns they might not have otherwise recognized. Some students may learn they do a better job of retaining the lessons early in the week. Others may learn that come Friday, they couldn’t repeat the choreography back to you no matter what the incentive or consequence. Students may also find that when they attend classes more frequently, their movements are sharper and their form is significantly enhanced. However, the revelations don’t stop there
You may also find that in issuing progress reports for students, there are adjustments that need to be made in instruction as well. For example, if all the students are struggling in one class with instructor A, but the students with instructor B are excelling, the instructor could be the cause. Having quantifiable data enables you to get to the root of what could be causing students to do well or poorly, and adjust accordingly.