Keep the Fire Burning: Veteran Instructors share their secrets for longevity and long lasting success in pageantry – an interview with Jody Jones
One of the most common challenges instructors face is how to keep the stress from taking over. We throw our entire lives into our programs, our students, the activity, the show. Soon we start to feel like we don’t have much of a life leftover and burnout sets in. So we asked veteran instructors with real career longevity how they have avoided burning out. This month we are thankful for the insight of Jody Jones from North Carolina.
Jody has been coaching high school guard for over 30 years and says he still feels like he’s learning every time he teaches a new set of kids. He’s been with Broughton High School in North Carolina since 1984, University of North Carolina from 1991 – 2000, NC State University from 2009 to present and Assembly Line Winter Guard 1987 – present.
Here’s the insight Jody has to offer:
I think the best advice I would share:
- Never stop growing, the main reason I do a Senior Class Guard is that I still want to be taught. I love learning from a new instructor and seeing the different ways to approach teaching. Change up your training exercises, try different techniques for teaching, do not let your teaching style become mundane.
- Never compare season to season treat each season like your first, just keep building on the lessons you have learned to make the experience better for your students. I do not find it healthy to make comparisons between seasons. Each group of kids is unique, and should be treated as such.
- Also, as you age never forget where and how you started. So often I feel like I may have started not understanding the other issues that pull on our students. I must then back up and remember the state of mind I had at their age. How fast did I learn work? When did I achieve a solid catch? Maybe these answers will make you a better instructor. Very often when I stop and think, I realize that this is very important to me but that I cannot expect the same devotion from a new member, who has not completely found the passion for color guard.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Catina Anderson is the founder/editor of the Colorguard Educators blog. Color guard has been part of her life for almost 25 years. She began coaching in 1994 and worked with the Broad Run High School color guard in Northern VA from 1998 until 2010. She has also written for Halftime Magazine and served on the Executive Board of the Atlantic Indoor Association. A former teacher, she enjoys sharing what she has learned and hopes to encourage others to share as well. Together we can create even more positive experiences for performers and help to collectively strengthen marching arts activities worldwide.