The true mark of a professional is their commitment to education. It all starts with keeping your knowledge, instruction and certification current.
Years ago, a survey of fitness students asked “What were the most important things students wanted from their instructors?” The top 3 answers: education, communication and motivation, in that order. Your students notice your commitment to learning through improvements in your cues, touches, progressions and thought-processes, and they love it when you communicate clearly and motivate them to do more.
It can be so easy to get busy and then realize your certification has expired. So there are a number of important reasons to stay current with your certs. Some key reasons include:
- Learning Never Ends: Even when you reach the comprehensive level, there is so much left unexplored. Discover how to use props, create better building blocks, add variations—the topics are never-ending! What are you interested in learning more about? Chances are the topic will be found in continuing education and certification renewal.
- Skill Building: There is often information covered during a certification program that an instructor doesn’t clearly understand or needs more time to practice. Choose continuing education credits, or CECs, that address areas that didn’t fully come to life for you the first time round. Look at the teaching skills of cueing, touch, progression, and shapes in space as a starting point.
- Specialization: Do you have a passion for a particular special population? Whether you want to work with orthopedic issues, seniors, youth or athletes, you will need to access this information. Learn from experienced, evidenced-based professionals who teach the population you are interested in.
- Career Advancement: Are there missing pieces in your background that hold you back from your dream job as a studio coordinator, senior instructor or program developer? Do you need more insight into how to open or successfully manage a studio or team? CECs can help you develop skills outside of Pilates that will help you take your career to the next level.
- Resume Enhancement: When we review applications for new Peak Pilates® Master Instructors, we pay close attention to the CECs an applicant has taken. It is the mark of their commitment to continual development and shows their dedication to their profession.
- Community: Staying an active part of the Peak Pilates family keeps you linked to other like-minded devotees. Your certification helps you to connect right off the bat! Recently, I attended a training on a movement modality, and when I walked into the room on the first day, I found four Peak Pilates certified instructors—instant community!
- Inspiration: As instructors, we give so much to our students, day in and day out. When we take a CEC course, we reinvigorate and inspire ourselves so that we have more to give. It’s a chance to freshen up and try new things, as well as helps us avoid burn out.
- Legality: It’s not a fun topic, but we live in a litigious society. The reality is that if an accident happens, your education and certification status will be closely scrutinized. You can be found negligent if you have not stayed current.
“The Pilates instructor seeks to look view him or herself as a professional, and in many professions such as Law, Medicine, Physical Therapy it is a requirement to stay certified and current,” says Carrie Pfenning, Peak Pilates Master Instructor and owner of the Pilates Room in Marstons Mills, Massachusetts. “Why should the Pilates profession be held to a different standard? If you don’t keep your certification up to date, it’s unprofessional.”
Peak Pilates instructors pride themselves on the quality of our program, and we believe that learning never ends. Peak instructors are required to earn 14 CECs every two years because we know that continued learning is essential to continued competence and best practices.
So how can you earn credits? We hold our own convention, the Pilates Empowerment Summit (otherwise known as PES) every year where you can earn all credits you need in just two days. Our Educational Centers offer CEC courses on a wide variety of topics, and we offer CECs for online courses and quizzes. We even offer the option of earning credits by taking lessons with a Peak Pilates Master Instructor.
We are working to re-engage any of you who have expired unintentionally and to encourage everyone to stay active. We are working to re-engage any of our instructors who have expired by accident or let their certifications lapse, and to encourage everyone to stay active.
If you have expired, register to take the renewal examination and reinvigorate your Peak Pilates instructor pathway today!
This article was contributed by Zoey Trap, MS.