This fall I decided to enroll in a weekly yoga class. In the past, I would promise myself that I would go and then would find all sorts of excuses not to go. So, I paid in advance and it's the same class at the same time every week for the next ten weeks.
I'm doing this for me. It's all part of my plan to help me live a happier life. Doing so will also make me a better teacher. But, I have to say, I was not the happiest of students tonight.
I'll be honest, whenever I am in a class, I end up analyzing the teaching and learning dynamic. It's not that I want to be mean; it's what I do. So, I arrive for the class, and they have moved the location. There were no signs, and I found that vaguely amusing, until I got into the class. The instructor could not decide which way she wanted the class to face. In fact, she changed her mind three or four times in the first ten minutes. It wasn't a pedagogical tool. She simply got thrown off by the change.
OK, I can live with that. I've been thrown off by the unexpected many times. But then, she started class, and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I was once again reminded of what it was like to be the kid in the class who was bored. All I wanted was to get into the poses, breathe, and feel my body respond to the movement and holds. And then she would do things like say, "Let me show you..." and would start to explain a new pose. And of course, students would begin o follow (because she had students follow before). But then she would change her mind and tell us to watch. urgh.
The high (low) point was when she noted that she was relieved that the folks who knew what they were doing were in the back of the room. Gee, make people feel bad because they'd never taken a class before. And why not use those students with more experience as models?
My point here is that teachers can make lousy students because they have an idea in their heads about how teaching and learning ought to occur. As one of those teachers who has always worked with a wide range of students, I know not to call out students. I also know that I need to give directions and be consistent. And, I also know that I need to tell students where we are going, where we have been, and where we will go.
Sigh. I'm going to try and leave the teacher me at home next week so that I can simply enjoy the yoga. I need it. I want it.