April 24, 2012 Back to school
So begins my teacher training. I felt like a giddy school girl with my bag packed, new highlighters, pens, notebooks and yogic texts. I’ve always enjoyed school/learning, and this is the pinnacle of what education represents for me.
Not only am I physically engaged in a practice that has been life changing for me, but I’m mentally stimulated, surrounded by like-minded individuals who wish to share their joy with others. Our teachers, Angie and Noell are both amazing yoginis that I have so much to learn from. I immediately felt at ease with my “spirit siblings” that I will be spending my weekends with for the next six months.
One thing Noell mentioned during training that I think about constantly is the fact that all teachers learn from their students, and all students teach their teachers. I am familiar with this concept as “teach/learn” & “learn/teach“, each with the primary role emphasized and the secondary role in support.
I actually discussed this with my Middle Schoolers a few weeks ago when one of my students freaked out and was cursing when we couldn’t read The Hunger Games for two straight periods. I totally understood his frustration (I was actually kind of excited that he was so engaged in the book) but cussing up a storm because things aren’t going his way is not an appropriate coping method and I thought this was a teachable moment. I explained to my class that these two identities (teach/learn & learn/teach) were inextricably linked, and that as their teacher, I have to constantly be aware of what my students are teaching me through their actions and reactions. I also mentioned to them that there is only one of me and 21 of them (I teach Special Education and this number is ridiculously high) and I have to do the best for the most amount of people. Often, this means that I won’t make everyone happy, but again, these mistakes inform my instruction and ultimately make me a stronger teacher.
Just bringing this concept to their attention made a huge difference in their awareness of the class as a whole. Often we don’t take the time to discuss things because we get so wrapped up in how we think things should be or how we think people should act. We must lead by example and be transparent in our actions and motivations. Admitting mistakes and even celebrating our struggles is an amazing tool for growth.
This carries over into my identity as a yoga teacher/learner. Currently, I am predominately in learning mode, but I am also developing my personal style and voice. I have to be true to myself, which is something I learned very early on teaching Middle Schoolers (they sniff out insecurities like no other!) and it will continue to be relevant as I begin teaching yoga.
Overall, I am exhausted but rejuvenated at the same time. I am so excited for the coming adventures 🙂
love & light,