ABMP Instructors on the Front Lines

History and Philosophy of Instructors on the Front Lines Workshops

The ABMP Education Team.
The ABMP Education Team.
ABMP Education Facilitator Taffie Lewis in action at an IFL workshop.
ABMP Education Facilitator Taffie Lewis in action at an IFL workshop.
ABMP Education Facilitator Kristin Coverly in action at an IFL workshop.
ABMP Education Facilitator Kristin Coverly
in action at an IFL workshop.
The Instructors on the Front Lines workshops developed as part of a broader massage school program that began more than 14 years ago. At that time, ABMP recognized that massage school health was pivotal to the massage therapy profession successfully riding the emerging wave of growing public interest in massage therapy. We dedicated staff to school relationships and created the ABMP School Issues Forum to provide a neutral setting at which school owners and directors could network and learn about best practices. Six years ago, ABMP expanded its education staff (now at eight people) to provide more resources for students, instructors, and schools including:

One of the ABMP education department’s most important initiatives in 2008 was the development of the Instructors on the Front Lines workshops, which was launched in January 2009. Schools regularly reported to ABMP’s traveling school liaisons the need for more teacher training and resources. At the same time, ABMP could see that the student population was undergoing a dramatic change. Fewer students were coming to massage as a second or third career and more were coming directly out of high school. Add to the mix the fact that most massage instructors are content experts and not trained as teachers, and massage instructors were suddenly struggling to address the generational learning needs of a highly diverse group of students. They were also expressing frustration with students who are unprepared for the challenges of massage school and failing to meet their academic and skill potential. Using educational research conducted on first-year college students, ABMP developed the Student Success Curriculum and added additional resources to Student Membership. Then, we developed and launched free regional teacher trainings that utilize these resources to help instructors improve their learning environments and experiences as teachers. The response has been tremendous! As we launch a new workshop in 2012 (“Building Critical and Creative Thinking Skills in Massage Students”) we count it as a privilege to have worked with more than 2,000 massage instructors across the country!