Training to teach the Alexander Technique
AmSAT’s teacher training program takes place over three years with a minimum of sixteen hundred hours of training, as specified in the AmSAT Bylaws. AmSAT teacher training courses undergo regular re-approval to ensure that trainees are receiving the appropriate standard of instruction with respect to both qualitative and quantitative measures.
Individual attention is the hallmark of AmSAT teacher training with a student-teacher ratio no higher than five-to-one. Learning to embody the principles of the Technique and communicate them to others is achieved through direct, practical experience. Class time is devoted to instruction in the “use of the self” (self-development of the trainee), development of hands-on skills (learning to convey the experience of the principles to others) and instruction in basic principles of anatomy and physiology. A thorough review of F.M. Alexander’s writings is a requirement of each course along with a review of other related literature. Each teacher training course maintains its own standards for acceptance into its program and develops its own policies concerning: student attendance, lateness and make-up, tuition payments and refunds, and evaluation of trainee progress.
AmSAT certified teachers have a thorough understanding of F.M. Alexander’s principles through study of his writings. They have a basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology and have reached a high standard in “the use of the self” when teaching the Technique, both through words and through the use of their hands. Familiarity with the purpose of Alexander’s basic procedures – chair work, table work, positions of mechanical advantage, “whispered ah,” putting hands on the back of a chair, and lunge – as well as proficiency in demonstrating them in individual lessons, are essential skills developed in AmSAT teacher training courses.
AmSAT members continue their professional development by fulfilling our society’s continuing education requirement. Further, they agree to abide by the AmSAT code of professional conduct, and are affiliated with teachers all over the world who share these standards of training and professionalism.
AmSat Teacher Training – Historical Perspective
F. M. Alexander began training teachers in London in 1932. From the beginning, Alexander’s teacher training course was a full-time commitment. After his death, teacher training courses were opened by some of Alexander’s most prominent students: Wilfred and Marjory Barlow, Walter Carrington, Patrick Macdonald, and Dick and Elizabeth Walker.
Knowing the importance of continuing Alexander’s work and maintaining his standard for training teachers, they adopted the British educational authorities’ standard for a full time course: fifteen hours a week, three twelve-week terms a year, and three years duration. In subsequent years when teacher training courses were established throughout the world, the Alexander Technique Affiliated Societies was formed to maintain these standards. As a member of ATAS, AmSAT teacher training courses adhere to these standards.
Benefits available to AmSAT teacher trainees
While enrolled in an AmSAT teacher training course, trainees are eligible to attend the AmSAT Annual General Meeting. There senior teachers and international guest teachers present workshops, classes, discussion groups, and lectures giving teachers and trainees the opportunity to develop their skills. International Congresses offer trainees further opportunities for study. Congresses are held every few years in countries that have included: England, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, Germany, and the USA.
Benefits of being an AmSAT certified teacher
AmSAT provides its members with ongoing support in their professional development. Continuing education is required of members and AmSAT offers many opportunities nationwide.
AmSAT Training Course Directors— A Professional Collaboration
To become an AmSAT training course director, one must be certified by AmSAT or an affiliated society for at least ten years. The application to open an AmSAT teacher training course includes documentation of post-graduate continuing education, letters of recommendation and an in-depth personal interview, all of which are thoroughly reviewed by AmSAT. An AmSAT-approved director of training demonstrates a solid knowledge of the Alexander Technique through extensive teaching experience, skilled interpersonal communication, and professional integrity.
All AmSAT teacher training directors are active members of AmSAT and together they comprise the AmSAT Training Directors Committee. This group was formed to give training directors an opportunity to exchange ideas and work together. Our training directors are the foundation of the profession and some have over thirty years of experience training teachers in the Alexander Technique. Sharing their experience contributes to the high standard of training offered and to the growth and development of the Technique.
AmSAT Training Directors meet regularly and this professional collaboration serves as a think-tank for training teachers in the Alexander Technique and maintaining AmSAT’s high standards.
International Training Standards
Training to be a teacher of the Alexander Technique at an AmSAT-approved course has many professional advantages including international professional recognition. The Alexander Technique Affiliated Societies comprise seventeen national societies of teachers of the Alexander Technique who recognize each others’ professional qualifications and maintain the same standards for training and professional conduct of Alexander Technique teachers worldwide. The Alexander Technique Affiliated Societies assure that the standards of training that originated with F.M. Alexander are upheld.
Interested in training to teach the Alexander Technique?
Contact an AmSAT Training Course Director for more information.