How’s your classroom etiquette?

Does it get on your wick when another student tries to chat to you when the teacher’s talking? Do you cringe when somebody’s phone goes off in class?

Most of come to class with an open heart, a passion for bellydance and an eagerness to learn, we don’t intend on doing things which might get somebody else’s goat. So, I decided to bring this (slightly tricky) topic to the fore and asked a large sample of my students: in your opinion, what makes for good classroom etiquette?

Let me be clear, I didn’t do this to unleash the moan-fest of the century. Instead, I wanted to make visible a kind of “code of conduct” which 99% of us abide by 99% of the time. However, we all have moments when we fall off the etiquette wagon, so this is a little nudge to get us back on.

Here are the top 7 answers from my students (with a couple of my own thrown in too) and remember, these are all meant with heartfelt love and affection 🙂

  •  (not) Chatting. Our ladies love having a quiet room so they can hear the instructor clearly. Plus, teachers aren’t keen on competing with other conversations
  •     Space. When you’re concentrating on getting the moves it’s easy to lose track of your spacing. Keep an eye that you haven’t “drifted” too close to another class mate. Also – don’t be shy about standing at the front!
  •     Time. We only have one precious hour together a week. Arrive early and settle up any payments or questions in good time before the class to avoid eating into class time
  •     Unofficial teaching assistant. It can be soooo tempting to help out a struggling classmate, but wait to be asked by them before offering help and do it after the class or during a break
  •     If you’ve been coming to class for years, remember that lovely person who said “hello” and made you feel welcome when you first came? Now it’s your turn to break the ice with any new class members and help them feel at ease
  •     DO ask for extra explanations and ask questions about the material taught in class and DO feel free to bring out your own and your class mates sense of humour. AVOID telling long anecdotes about your personal life and going off topic for too long
  •     DO ask questions about the music, where to get it etc. AVOID asking the teacher email you the music or burn you a CD!
  • Remember to switch your phone to silent before class starts. If you have to take an urgent/emergency call, take it outside

Thank you to all my students who contributed their thoughts to this blog, I learn from you all each and every day!

Now I want to ask you: Do you have any other suggestions for classroom etiquette that we could all learn from? Are you a teacher who has effective ways of keeping your class on track etiquette-wise? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and let us know. And of course I’d love it if you were to share this post with all your friends, especially as this has such a huge impact on the quality of our learning.

Thanks for reading, love and shimmies,

Helen xx

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