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#1 Pilates Core

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:17 AM

What exactly does a 600 hour apprenticeship consist of? Mine was 100 hours, and it seemed like a huge amount. However, our apprenticeship was just teaching clients who paid a discounted rate.

We also had to do about 75 hours of practice teaching on students and family and friends, 30 observation hours, and 45 physical review hours. But it wasn't considered to be a part of the apprenticeship.

Still, though, that's a lot less than you guys have to do. So tell me: what does your apprenticeship entail?


ETA: I just checked and I got my hours totally wrong.

140 hours instruction & supervised teaching

Minimum 30 hours observation

Minimum 110 hours physical review

Minimum 65 hours practice teaching

100 hours apprenticeship performed upon completion

#2 reinbeau

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:26 AM

My apprenticeship was broken down into observation hours and actual teaching hours, as well as my personal practice - but for me my apprenticeship started August 1999 when I first found Pilates. I had seven years under my belt before I began to learn how to teach, and I did that for my own edification, not to really teach - until I realized I wanted to be an instructor. I think the total is 600 hours, but I could be wrong, I don't have that at my fingertips.
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#3 bokfukata

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:38 AM

My apprentice hours included: observing teachers, assisting teachers, and teaching clients. The people who are students at the certifying studio love it when there's a batch of apprentices around -- they get cheap private lessons; individual attention during group classes; some are even picked to be "case studies" and they really love that!

#4 Pilates Core

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:54 AM

How do you assist teachers? Like making corrections in group classes, switching equipment... what kinds of assistance?

#5 bokfukata

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:02 AM

Yes, that kind of thing. When the teacher taught duet or trio lessons, that's when we especially assisted. Trainer would say, "spot her for teaser" for example or if they were really advanced, "hold her legs for breaststroke." In group mat classes, we'd help the total beginners, go around spotting, checking form, etc.

During private lessons, we didn't really assist but depending on the client, the teacher would ask, "what do you notice about her body here?" or "what do you think I should give this client?"

#6 lizzie

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:34 PM

To be honest, I wasn't really aware of the apprentice requirements with STOTT PILATES™ (sorry, I've been reading the memos :P ). Nobody checked them. I'm pretty sure I had done more than the requirements, and I know they were supposed to be signed off, but the only reminder I ever got was that if we hadn't done some hours, it would be obvious during exams. I watched a lot of the videos, did a lot of mat classes, and eased into teaching by taking the first few minutes of someone else's class and building up from there. Those requirements were mostly from the studio owner, though.

It's one of the main reasons I decided to recertify--I had no mentor (the studio owner did some of her training at the same time as me, and some of the instructor trainers had only been teaching a few years) and I really wanted someone with more experience to learn from, and I wanted the discipline of teaching under some really knowledgeable, watchful eyes. I'm just past 200 hours and I've learned more from the apprenticeship than anything else. I observe sessions, work out with the other apprentices, teach the instructors, take guinea-pig clients, and just generally spend time soaking up the nitty-gritty details, and it's amazingly worthwhile.

I think the main difference is that even though the Stott stuff is contemporary and modified, it wasn't (in my situation) upheld for what it was. I felt free to teach whatever I picked up from workshops, in whatever order I liked, mixing in whatever pieces of supplementary equipment I chose, and it ended up being a Stott-flavoured hybrid. Now I'm being held to a system which, while it's still adaptable and changes according to different bodies, is a recognisable system, and I feel like I'm learning it way more thoroughly. The apprentice hours are a huge part of that.

#7 Pilates Core

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 06:11 AM

My hours were definitely checked - we had to hand in our log at our exam. I did more than the required hours, too.

A lot of my ITs had been doing Pilates for quite a long time - one had been an IT for 12 years and an instructor for years before that. But you're right, it is a newer method, so the instructors don't have decades of experience.

#8 reinbeau

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:45 AM

I too had to hand in my log, it was checked, and I did way more than what would fit on the log!
- Ann, Peak Pilates Certified Classical Instructor, student forever!

#9 Pilates Core

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:19 PM

Haha, yeah I just stopped logging once I'd gone slightly over my hours.

#10 luann

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:55 PM

I had 100 hrs. of personal integration, 100 hrs. observation, and 50 hrs. assisting. Outside of the over 300 hrs. in classroom, we also had 3 teach backs each for beginning, intermediate and advanced protocols. All along the way, there were anatomy tests and homework, but no cumulative test. We got our certificates if we passed our anatomy tests, turned in our hours and did a reasonably good job on our observed teaching. I'm kind of glad there wasn't a great big blow out test at the end, but completion did feel a little anti-climatic!

#11 bokfukata

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:40 PM

In hindsight, I really enjoyed being an apprentice. It was hard at the time because I also had my full-time job to do for a good portion of my apprenticeship. Luckily, I was able to take 3 months off during the summer to get the bulk of the hours in.

3/7 of my cohort were men, which is somewhat unusual, I'm told, but it made for a dynamic group AND there was only one dancer in the group. It was like "Pilates for the People" and I liked that. It was almost like summer camp as we spent 8-10 hours a day together, practicing, teaching, eating, studying, and laughing. We knew each other so well at the end that we could complete each other's sentences.

The tests were a nightmare and we all stressed about them. One little mistake and you fail and have to do additional hours before you're allowed to take it again. The final test was the real doozie -- you have to teach two people of different skill levels at the same time. Lots of nightmares about that one but it wasn't as bad as we'd all built it up to be. Glad I did it but I'd never want to do it again. And that was only one portion of the final exam!

#12 lizzie

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 12:29 AM

A lot of my ITs had been doing Pilates for quite a long time - one had been an IT for 12 years and an instructor for years before that. But you're right, it is a newer method, so the instructors don't have decades of experience.


One of my ITs had previously studied some with Romana, and one had years of experience in dance and had done years of Pilates, but yeah. The bulk of my training was with people with 3-5 years as ITs and they'd been certified not long before that. 3, 5, or 10 years is nothing to sneeze at, but it's nothing on 30+ years.

My experience doesn't generalise to all STOTT PILATES teachers, either. I'm sure it's very different in Toronto or one of the bigger certifying studios.

#13 Pilates Core

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:15 AM

That's true - I was lucky to be able to study in Toronto, which is the Stott HQ, and therefore has the best numbers of super-qualified teachers.

I liked that a lot of my ITs were also OTs or PTs and could bring different pieces of wisdom to the work, as well as give more information on what we can and can't do. My "injury bible" was huge even before I got out there and had to start researching!

#14 Carole Amend

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 05:38 AM

I liked that a lot of my ITs were also OTs or PTs and could bring different pieces of wisdom to the work, as well as give more information on what we can and can't do. My "injury bible" was huge even before I got out there and had to start researching!


Hi Emma,
You've started several discussions here that are key, I think (this and the IMX). And pilatesplace just asked about bridging different programs of study.

Starting from classical and integrating what the above "experts" have to say is different than starting out hearing that information and progressing into classical. I put no judgment on it at all, save one: personally, no matter how much of the "can't dos" I hear, I keep what is right with the body in focus.

This is where I believe the pilates community has gotten off track. It takes a while to shift someone's focus back to health after injury, but that was the name of the book: Return to Life. Always question the "cant dos." Always. If a teacher focuses on what's wrong, the client feels that, and that is projecting something different than JHPilates and many others had in mind, in my opinion.

-Carole : )

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#15 Pilates Core

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 07:26 AM

Yes and no. If I go into a workout, and my teacher doesn't take my injuries into account, they'll have me do spinal flexion with rotation, and I could screw my back up more than it already is. Knowing about injuries doesn't make you a physio - it stops you from exacerbating the problem. It's important to know what not to do, and if you can do anything to make it better, that's a bonus. I think knowing about injuries is vital information for any bodywork professional, from pilates instructors to personal trainers to group ex class leaders to anyone else. Otherwise we run the risk of doing more bad than good.

#16 Carole Amend

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 07:54 AM

Yeah, this is a tough topic for online. Too much to write about, but I'll try a bit more.
I knew next to nothing compared to what I know now about anatomy, etc., when I started teaching. Seriously.

I was taught that if there is a problem, leave that area alone. It all balances out.
PTs brought in the idea of working site specific.

No way should a teacher be unaware of your issues; he/she needs to know, just not focus on it, and not handle it in the way a PT would. All I'm saying here is that it is a shift in focus and with it, in paradigm. Not what I want for pilates overall.

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#17 reinbeau

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 11:33 AM

I also like the thought of questioning the can't do's. Health after injury - and Return to Life. Yes, I agree, it should be the focus, which doesn't mean you don't take injuries into account, you teach the body around them, and through them, to the ideal that day.
- Ann, Peak Pilates Certified Classical Instructor, student forever!

#18 SK3000

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:47 PM

Interesting idea, reminds me of when I read about what happened when Ron Fletcher first met Joe. He said he had an injured knee but when he tried to talk to Joe about it he just went 'yes, yes yes' but never looked or focused on his knee.

#19 bokfukata

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:48 PM

I was taught that if there is a problem, leave that area alone. It all balances out.

That's how I learned also.

If a teacher focuses on what's wrong, the client feels that, and that is projecting something different than JHPilates and many others had in mind, in my opinion.

Nice! When I was an apprentice and had my first "special case" in a private session, I was so nervous. Would they get hurt? Would I mess up? And, OMG, I was being observed. The client definitely picked that up. The focus of the session became her shoulder and not so much what she was there to do. I learned a lot from that one. That's why we apprentice, no?

#20 Pilates Core

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:51 PM

Depends on the client. If they've healed up a sore shoulder, one of their goals might be to re-strengthen it. You should always focus on your client's goals, and since I work in a chiro/massage clinic, my clients frequently have goals that involve re-strengthening previously injured areas, or building muscles in the surrounding areas to support an area that is currently injured. I'm not treating the injury, I'm helping the body not fall apart around it.




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