Dear Exercise and Dance Teachers, How about actually TEACHING?

I’ve taken ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary dance classes. I’ve taken Zumba, Bar Method, barre3, Pure Barre, Lagree Megaformer, Pilates, yoga, and even yogalates classes. I’ve paid as much as $20 for a 50-minute class. I am always looking for good teachers.

I don’t know how many hours teachers spend in certification or training programs, but I’ve encountered too many who lack a deep knowledge of body mechanics and alignment. Showing off what you can do is not teaching.

Too often dance teachers (especially professional ballet dancers) take their own class…


or What I Unknowingly Taught Them.

I often reconnect with students I’ve taught at school reunions, and we reminisce about their time in my math or dance classes. Over the years I have been pleasantly surprised at what they actually remember. Seldom does it have anything to do with the content of the class.

My favorite is probably Rob. One day I gave a particularly long homework assignment and Rob said, “Oh this is so gay.” “Homework can’t be gay, Rob,” I said, “and that’s a ridiculous thing to say.” …


Does content really matter?

Most of the students in our school take calculus because they believe it is a necessary gateway to college acceptance. Few will remember any of the content presented, and even fewer will ever pursue mathematics at more advanced levels.

For over a decade I taught AP Calculus at both the AB and BC levels. Virtually all of my students passed and over 95% of the students at the BC level earned 5’s on this exam. With committed students and a knowledgeable teacher, it’s just not that hard. Students were happy, parents were happy, but I wasn’t always happy.

When we…


What’s Really Important to be Successful in Mathematics

The most important thing you can do for your children’s math education is to never let them know if you hated math or were bad at math. Instead, help them to build a number sense, and at the same time, you might get more comfortable with numbers yourself.

I am part of a generation with more developed computational mental math skills. Now that everyone carries a cell phone with a calculator, I think too many people have lost comfort with the basics of computation and approximation. After thirty-five years of teaching advanced…

Gallia K. Vickery

Math teacher, dancer, choreographer, mother of two grown daughters. Beginning to write as I enjoy a trimester long sabbatical.

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