Sophie here, one of Tot Bop’s very proud teachers! How is everyone coping with this second lockdown? If your anything like me, I am feeling a little bit deflated and down! With stopping and starting again (ugh!) it has definitely made me realise how appreciative I am of being a part of Tot Bop. I get to see smiling little faces every week and lovely parents who are so supportive of Tot Bop, oh how I miss it!
So, this got me thinking…why don’t I share a typical day of teaching Tot Bop with you all!? Thinking about my Tot Bop classes has definitely lifted my spirits, so it may well lift yours as well!
Here we go … Firstly, I teach 3 mornings a week for Tot Bop and I must say they are my favourite days of the week! I wake up, get myself ready in my comfy Tot Bop t-shirt, some bright coloured leggings and my dancing shoes and I’m ready to go! I check all my equipment: music, props, cleaning equipment (thanks Covid!!) and I am off to my first venue of the week.
Class Set Up
Now we will skip the cleaning part (but I’m proud to say all the venues are sparkling before we teach!) and I start getting set up to make the room Tot Bop ready and looking magical. I lay all my props out in order of which I will be using them, I put our recognisable Tot Bop music on straight away, (I love the hip hop nursery rhymes!!) and get on our jazzy coloured lights, which the little people love! I set the chairs and shapes out, ready for our little ones to come and choose a colour and shape. I pop out our great Tot Bop banners at the corners of the room, which are so inviting and make the room look so professional!
Once my class begins, I instantly get a warm glow in the pit of my stomach. I hear the first song, and see lots of smiling faces waiting to be thrilled and have fun!
The Tot Bop Class & Kiddie Development
Something I love about teaching Tot Bop is how I can see the children flourish from one week to the next. We believe in learning through repetition, and I can literally see the children developing in front of my eyes every week; they know what is coming next, they learn the words to songs and join in, even without the encouragement from their grown up.
Over a few weeks, I can see musical awareness developing. The children recognise the music, and can start to link the specific movement to each song, which always is amazing to watch! The action song is also another great exercise which really helps develop physical awareness and linking physical movements to words. It’s fascinating to see the children watching me and copying my movements one week and then the following week, they know which movement is coming next!
Something I love seeing develop is the children having the freedom to make their own choices. For example, making a crazy shape or galloping by themselves! Over a few classes, (or even the first class!) they choose which crazy shape they are going to make, often without any help from their parents. This builds independence and confidence which continues to grow with time.
We smoothly flow through the class, with stretching, action songs, the music section and an imaginative story time. The children love using the props they bring from home and musical instruments, as it allows them to explore and copy. I love the rhythm section part of class, as every week the children discover a new way to make sound with their instrument. You can’t beat the giggles and smiles when they are being very loud!! I can see the children learning to count, and learning the difference between slow and fast which then helps develop their physical movement too.
As we reach the end of our class, the children are dazed with wonder as they watch the twinkly lights fill the room, and they know its time to relax as the music is slower and calm. They use their scarf to create shapes and draw pictures, exploring their imagination skills and snuggle with their grown up. I will then praise each and every little Tot Bopper with a sticker, so they have something to feel proud of after each lesson. I know I have always done a good job when I get lots of little cuddles at the end of the class … even if they are just virtual cuddles right now!
From my experience of working with young children, the Tot Bop syllabus is by far the best I have had the pleasure of teaching. I have seen the most progress in young children in a short amount of time than anywhere else which is truly amazing!
Tot Bop Teacher