Observation and Student Teaching

HOW TO OBTAIN LOGGED HOURS

You will be required to log a certain number of observation hours and teaching hours in order to be awarded a certification. Please refer to the details below to find out how to set up your observation and teaching hours.

HOW TO OBTAIN OBSERVATION HOURS:

To log observation hours, you must first make arrangements to regularly observe a Pilates professional while he or she is teaching an individual session or group class. This can take place in a Pilates studio, a gym, a health club, or a private setting.

To find a certified Peak Pilates® trainer in your area to observe, go to peakpilates.com and use the “Find a Peak Instructor” tool on the Instructor Education tab. Once you find a Peak Pilates® trainer in your area, contact him or her directly to ask permission to observe and to set up a schedule. Please keep in mind that each trainer will have their own observation policies and hours of availability.

If there are no certified Peak Pilates® instructors in your area, you can go to the Pilates Method Alliance Web site (pilatesmethodalliance.org) for a list of PMA certified instructors that have been comprehensively trained in another comprehensive training program. Click on “Find a PMA certified teacher” under the Certification tab to view instructors in your area. You will want to make sure that the instructor you choose has been through a comparable training program to what Peak Pilates® offers—meaning that they have passed a written/theoretical assessment to achieve their certification, and that they have completed a combined minimum of 450 hours of lecture, personal practice, observation and student teaching.

When approaching a Pilates instructor, studio, or business about the possibility of your doing observation hours in their space, please expect that their policies will vary. Some studios require you to take some classes or become a client of the studio before being allowed to observe. Others may charge a fee for observation, or not allow observation in their facilities.

If you are unable to locate an instructor to observe in your area, you must log your observation hours by way of watching instructional Pilates DVDs and online videos. Here is a list of recommended DVDs and Web sites that offer training videos:

  • Peak Pilates® Level I, II & III DVDs
  • Mary Bowen’s historical Pilates footage
  • Classical Pilates DVDs
  • Romana’s Pilates
  • Lolita’s Pilates DVDs
  • PilatesAnytime.com
  • Pilatesology.com

In addition (if possible), it is recommended that you attend at least two Pilates classes per week. Some studios will offer discounts to students who are a part of a Pilates instructor program.

OBSERVATION ETIQUETTE:

Peak Pilates® students should always follow these simple rules of etiquette when observing:

  • Always set your schedule in advance and make sure the teacher knows your schedule.
  • Make sure that your personal belongings are stored away from the workout floor.
  • Present a professional image by wearing appropriate clothing and having good hygiene.
  • Always follow all of the facility’s rules with regard to safety, cleanliness and protocols.
  • When observing, think: “fly on the wall.” Stand in an inconspicuous location, take notes, and never interrupt the session/class. If you have questions (and the instructor allows questions), please hold them until the end of the session.

HOW TO OBTAIN STUDENT TEACHING HOURS:

You can begin logging your student teaching hours as soon as you complete the Level I / Module 1 training. First, you must make arrangements to regularly practice teach Pilates in a setting that gives you access to the necessary equipment. Please remember to only practice teach what you have already been taught, as it could be dangerous to do otherwise.

Teaching the Pilates mat exercises only requires a small amount of space and a mat. However once you begin teaching exercises on apparatus such as the reformer, cadillac/tower, chair, and barrel, you will need to teach in a setting that gives you access to these apparatus.

You can use the same process as described above to locate a studio or facility in your area that would allow you to conduct your student teaching in their space. Some facilities may charge a studio rental fee to use their equipment; others may ask that you do some simple clerical work or studio housekeeping for them in exchange for your use of their studio space. If you are a member of a gym that has a Pilates studio, you should inquire with gym management to find out their policies and determine if they would allow you to use their equipment.

Some facilities may require that you have professional liability insurance before they allow you to begin student teaching. If you are in need of professional liability insurance, you can contact the Pilates Method Alliance (PilatesMethodAlliance.org). If you own your own equipment, you can, of course, do your student teaching on that equipment. If you need more information on how to purchase Peak Pilates® equipment, please shop at peakpilates.com or contact a sales representative at: sales@peakpilates.com.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact Peak Pilates® or your teacher trainer.