Curriculum is defined as what is taught in a given course or subject. Baton twirling professionals have lacked a formal training program that exists for similar performance sports such as dance or gymnastics so much of what we teach is based on how and what we learned from our coaches or in the twirling programs that we grow up being involved in in our youth. When I began teaching and coaching, I taught what I thought worked based on my limited experience along with what I believed the student needed and could handle. As my teaching experience expanded and my twirling program grew, I realized that this created some challenges for my students, my program and myself.
A lack of a formal curriculum created two main challenges within my twirling program. The first challenge was that students could easily miss learning a basic twirl. For my program, I would have new students join in the Summer into our beginning baton class and show a lot of potential so they would join one of our competitive teams. Now, they are joining students that may have twirled a year or so and you can see how easily it is that this Summer student does not have the same skills as the student that took classes for the school year.
The second challenge was when my program grew and I hired teachers to help me. Those teachers would teach what they thought was best for the student. I've been very fortunate that many of my students have grown up to teach for me so they are very familiar with our program, teaching philosophy and what to teach. But, on occasion, we have hired someone to teach that didn't grow up in our program and then how do we ensure consistency across all of the classes?
So, time and experience taught us that we needed a more formal process to ensure that our students learned their basics no matter who taught the class, when they joined or what path they took through our program. And, that's the "why" behind the development of our curriculum. We have seen our students move through our program with a stronger grasp of basic skills and bodywork.
If you follow us on social media or have checked out our website, you probably are aware that we sell our curriculum because we believe it will help transform your twirling program just like it helped ours. When you buy our curriculum, we offer two individual sessions to help you implement it so that you can successfully launch your curriculum. You can use those any time that you would like!
If purchasing a curriculum isn't an option for you now then create your own. Here's a few steps to creating your curriculum.
First, make a list of all of the tricks that you want to teach. Essentially, you are "brain dumping" each and every trick that you teach in your program. This may take a week or two to do so enjoy the process.
Second, put all of your tricks in order that you like to teach them. You can create a level for your tricks. We use approximately 10 tricks per each level. Use a Google Doc, Word or Canva to create a professional and beautiful document for your students.
Third, choose how you will reward your students for completing challenging tricks or levels. Consider giving out a prize or certificate for each level to grow excitement in your students. Share your student's accomplishments in your newsletter or social media.
Have questions about creating a curriculum? Contact us any time!