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This book was written to help both you and your participants enjoy and develop your tai chi more fully. By teaching effectively, your participants will learn more easily and quickly and, thus, enjoy their tai chi more; this, in turn, will keep them coming back to your class. At the same time, you will be more fulfilled as a teacher and will improve your own level of tai chi. The core of the book is the teaching system I have developed from years of research and experience. I call it the Stepwise Progressive Teaching Method. Within this book, I have woven this method together with essential knowledge in teaching tai chi for health improvement, and present it step-by-step, as a complete system of teaching. Those of you who have read the first edition of Teaching Tai Chi Effectively have told me how invaluable you found it-often reading it numerous times to learn my teaching methodology or keeping it as a handy reference tool. This revised edition has been expanded to address new research on teaching tai chi for health as well as different approaches that can be used with the development of new teaching aids, like DVDs and the World Wide Web. Throughout the book, I will use real life examples to help you take a better course of action, as well as avoid obvious pitfalls. While the stories are real, the names have been changed to protect privacy, except for quotes, in which case, real names are used. Many of you have requested I cover areas in which you need more assistance such as: retaining participants, creating marketing strategies, working with people with chronic conditions, and teaching in the workplace. This edition has been reorganized and enhanced to fill these requests. Here’s what you will find in this edition: Part 1 is all about you, the teacher. Chapter 1 answers the question “why teach tai chi?” Chapter 2 discusses the basic attributes of an effective teacher. Chapter 3 shows ways of determining whether you are an effective teacher, and, if not, why not. Part 2 contains the essence of my method of teaching tai chi. Chapter 4 discusses the very important subject of safely teaching tai chi. Chapter 5 provides special guidance for new teachers, but also contains important information for experienced teachers as I discuss: how to be on your participants’ wavelengths, ways to communicate effectively with various populations, and how to facilitate enjoyment. Chapter 6 presents my Stepwise Progressive Method and explains how to teach using this method. It also answers the questions how-and why-the Stepwise Method works. Chapter 7 is designed to help new teachers quickly get started. It contains information about organizing and marketing classes, along with a recommended class format, or suggested lesson plan. Chapter 8 is all about tai chi principles and concepts. While there are many well-written books and articles about tai chi principles, here I have summarized the essential principles in an easy to understand way, complementary to my teaching method. Throughout the book I have quoted these principles to illustrate certain teaching techniques, and I will continue to post new articles on this subject on the Tai Chi for Health Institute website. Chapter 9 addresses the often asked questions: “What is the best way to motivate people to practice?” and “What steps can I take to retain participants?” I urge you to spend some time thinking about the methods and rationale of the system I have presented in Part 2. Visualize using the Stepwise Method in a real life situation, while incorporating the methods for effective teaching, then test it out and adapt it to your needs as appropriate. Try to practice it whenever you can, for the art of teaching is like the art of tai chi; regular practice, revision, and more practice is a must for improvement. Part 3 was written in response to your request for expert advice in teaching tai chi to various populations. Here, along with sharing my own knowledge and experience, I have incorporated the stories and suggestions of teachers who have backgrounds in working with these various populations. Chapter 10 is filled with guidelines for effectively teaching children as well as young and older adults. Chapter 11 focuses on the challenges of teaching people with chronic conditions-arthritis, diabetes, back pain, osteoporosis and more-as well as those with limited mobility. In this chapter you will also find guidelines on how to teach tai chi as an exercise to prevent falls. Chapter 12 covers considerations when teaching in workplace setting. Part 4 provides a variety of tools to assist you as you continue your tai chi teaching journey. Chapter 13 discusses: team teaching; collaboration with colleagues as well as Tai Chi for Health Master and Senior Trainers; and suggestions for conducting, or getting involved with, research projects. Chapter 14 provides guidelines on using various media to promote tai chi and your classes, as well as hints on speaking in public. Chapter 15 contains a collection of gems from my teaching colleagues; articles they’ve written about teaching tai chi effectively. Working with people in a learning situation can be a very challenging task. No two situations are exactly alike and there is no single solution for all situations. The keys to meeting this challenge and becoming an effective tai chi teacher are: to understand the rationale and the principles of teaching and of tai chi; to integrate the structure of the Stepwise Progressive Teaching Method into your teaching; and to study tips and hints from other effective tai chi teachers. Working with people can also be very rewarding. Empowering your participants to find enjoyment and health through tai chi is most fulfilling. This book is dedicated to helping you achieve these rewards faster and to experience more enjoyment during your tai chi teaching journey.

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