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 instruction consistent with AmSAT's standards.
Individual attention is the hallmark of AmSAT teacher training with a student-teacher ratio no greater 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, absence and make-up, tuition payments and refunds, and evaluation of trainee progress.
AmSAT's teacher training courses foster an understanding of the principles of F. M. Alexander through study of the writings and practice of his basic procedures. These procedures include: chair work, table work, positions of mechanical advantage, “whispered ah,” putting hands on the back of a chair, and lunge. Emphasis is placed on developing a high standard of “the use of the self” when teaching the Technique, both verbally and through the use of the hands.
AmSAT members continue their professional development by fulfilling our society’s continuing education requirements. Further, they agree to abide by the AmSAT Code of Professional Conduct. AmSAT is affiliated with societies of 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 equivalent standards. As a member of ATAS, AmSAT's teacher training courses share a commitment 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 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. 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 experiences contributes to the high standard of training offered and to the growth and development of the Technique.
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 are dedicated to the standards of training that originated with F.M. Alexander.
Interested in training to teach the Alexander Technique?