As part of the Denver Yoga Underground’s program, trainees practice student teaching outside of the classroom and in the community. Here is one notable example of how an entry level teacher navigated their first attempt at student teaching. As a prospective teacher, this article will teach you what it’s like to get stated teaching.
Q. What was your general impression of teaching yoga? Highs and lows?
A. My overall impression of student teaching felt pretty good. I’m starting to get more comfortable with “putting myself out there”. I also received some good feedback from my student teaching partner Meghan. She said I conveyed a lot of confidence and a welcoming atmosphere.
Cueing poses still feel awkward, especially with people who are new. I know what I want in my brain however it’s that does not always translate to my words. I work to be clear and concise in my instructions and not overwhelm students with ambiguous instructions.
Q. Did you integrate any insights from the previous student teaching assignment? What were they?
A. I want to be genuine. It is easy to get tangled up in the theory or cueing instructions and the class feels ‘stale’. Most recently, I’ve only been looking at a list of the asanas themselves and then describe based on my personal experience rather than the suggested cues in the manual.
Being genuine is necessary to capture the student’s attention and keep them engaged. I can tell the difference when a teacher comes from their heart vs a route description.
Additionally, I have some structural challenges and study different variations. Everyone has a unique body, I want to be able to make everyone feel accepted and appropriately challenged, regardless of any physical limitations.
Finally, I work to create space or silence in the class. Students see themselves more clearly when there are fewer distractions. This is another reason to practice concise cues.