The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) is holding their second annual conference August 18 – 20 in Charleston South Carolina to discuss the theme Bringing Teaching to the Next Level. This event brings the best of the best together to work toward creating a standard of excellence in massage therapy education.

Teachers don’t get to hand pick their students and they often have participants that challenge them – sometimes in a good way... sometimes not so much. The more trained an instructor is the more equipped they are to deal with students who test the limits. In the massage therapy field many instructors are therapists who began teaching because they love massage, many of which have had no formal training in instructional design, student assessment or classroom preparation. Regardless of scenario (introductory massage program, continuing education, or advanced degree program) the love of massage is a definite must, but is it enough? And, if not, what is?

These are a few of the questions The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education is dedicated to work on answering at the conference this month. You may ask “Who is the AFMTE?” The short answer is that “they” are “us”! The AFMTE is comprised of schools, teachers and continuing education providers working together as a group to help shape the future of massage therapy education.

One of the goals of the AFMTE is The National Teacher Education Standard Project which aims “to strengthen and improve the quality of massage therapy education through teacher development.” The first phase of this initiative, Core Competencies, will be discussed in Charleston. Determining the foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes massage instructors need to be successful is certainly no small feat, but it is a much needed addition to the conversation of massage education. BIOTONE is once again living true to our slogan "Committed to Research, Education & You" as one of this years sponsors for The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education conference. I am proud to represent BIOTONE at the conference where Whitney Lowe will be presenting a 2 hour workshop titled “Instructional Design for Inspired Learners.”

What do you think about the AFMTE’s goals? Do you feel your massage instructors demonstrated the foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be successful teachers?