Teacher Training: Practice Teaching

A few weeks ago, Darren started picking out people to lead the warmup for our class each Saturday and Sunday. Missing the first weekend of the exercise, I watched the second group go two weeks ago before I volunteered to do this myself.

Last Saturday, it was my turn and I prepared throughout the week planning my 15 minute meditation and warmup sequence that I’d lead the class through. Of course, even the best-laid plans sometimes fall apart because I panicked at 2am on Friday night and ended up re-doing everything I was preparing to do and started from scratch.

That said, come Saturday, I was still ready (yet a little nervous) to teach 30-some students for 15 minutes. That morning, I was in the shower going over my game plan in my head and I was trying to rationalize that I often have to do large training at work in front of dozens or hundreds of people and it’s never a problem… I asked myself what the difference was and why I was getting nervous for this 15 minute “lesson.” I realized that the reason I am so confident at work is because I know the material so well, that I just felt comfortable with it… So when I thought about the class I was going to teach, I tried to put it in the same context. Sure, everyone knows the poses, but nobody knows better than I do the order or ways I’m going to teach each of them. I think this was just enough to fool my brain into being confident, because it worked.

I actually really enjoyed leading the class for my brief 15 minutes. Sure, there were things I could’ve done better and things I wish I had done differently, but it was a great experience. I wanted to get my first practice teaching session out of the way so I could move on and feel more comfortable with it… Again it worked.

To keep up the momentum, I emailed my coworkers this week and set up a quick 30 minute yoga class for this morning. A handful of people from my team volunteered and we ran through a quick little practice. It was fun, but I was a little more of a disaster. This disaster included a 3 minute dialog around which side to do for ardha matsyendrasana and I still dont know if all three students did it correctly. Oh well. I think I shouldve prepared a bit more, but live and learn. I wanted to try to be a bit more dynamic in the poses I chose rather than to have everything pre-planned, but I don’t feet as though that worked too well. Either way, it was a good experience and i’m slowly becoming more comfortable with my teaching voice.

I’m trying to schedule my full hour practice teach for mid-June, so I know a bit more now, how to handle it. It’s been a great week and even though I have the weekend off for Memorial Day, I am hoping to keep up the momentum through to next week!

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