Last night, while teaching my 8:15 p.m. class, I had a moment where it literally felt like a dementor (ala Harry Potter) showed up and sucked the living life out of all my students - somewhere in the awkward series. And there I was, a stand-in for Harry himself having to find a way to breathe life back into 16 people. And then once they were 'back' it happened again. And again. Up and down, up and down....
This seems to be a late-night class phenomenon. What is funny is that often, breathing at the beginning nearly knocks my socks off! The energy is amazing, often I think people are just so happy and proud of themselves for getting to class at that hour. I know I would be, practicing that late after a likely long day. But then the truth sets in, and the long day aftermath hits, and the energy plummets awfully fast. This is no diss on my students, let me be clear, but as a teacher, it is so interesting to me.
And to the students, who knows - most of us in class truly have a personal experience. Sometimes, as a student, I do notice the room feeling really bright with energy or happiness, and conversely, I have felt days where it feels sluggish or just tired in the room. As a student, you just refocus on your own practice and let all that other stuff in the room go. But to observe as a teacher, and to feel a responsibility to help the situation or fix it, it's a whole different story.
So what do you do? Well, I'm learning - still a new teacher. So last night, I let the folks know that though all the heaters were on, most were set to "fan" not to "heat" and that I was aware it was the 3rd class in a row in the room, and the room was plenty hot. I cracked a window here and there. I gave a pep talk or two and joked around a little bit to lighten the mood. But mostly, I just kept the ball rolling and worked to keep my energy up in hopes of lifting theirs. I think in the end, that's about all you can do in those situations. It is a little scary, truth be told, to feel like your class is falling apart in a way - but in my mind, I just say to myself, "It's your job to not let that happen. Adjust something, make them feel cared for and show that you are paying attention to them!" When I'm suffering in class, personally, it's amazing what a little acknowledgment from the teacher will do to pick me back up. ("I know you are all working so hard, you're doing great - stay with it!" etc.)
What about you? What does your teacher(s) do to bring you back from the dark side??
I'd love thoughts from other teachers or other students on this one! It's just like the yoga, a continuous process of learning and growing and trying out different things :)