It's been just over two months since I got home from teacher training. And as expected, my thoughts and experience around teaching continue to morph, grow and change. Let me give you the lay of the land - well, my teaching land - first.
So far, to date, I've taught just over 30 classes - keeping in mind I had about two weeks off in there, I'm right where I want to be. On average, I have around 6 classes/week now, and as of mid-September, I will have 4 solid classes that are mine, and the possibility of a couple more. I find with my business, contract jobs and fitting in my own practice, 5-6 is the right number. I want to love to teach, I want to truly "bring it" every time I walk in the room, and I don't want to resent it, or my students, just because I'm overextended. So, to that end, I'm feeling really good about quantity of classes in terms of how it maps to quality of my classes. Spot on, for now.
I love it, by the way. I have had some amazing experiences. For example, the other night, I taught 8:15 p.m. after teaching 6 a.m. & 9:30 a.m., helping my mom all day in between after a medical procedure, and I was pooped. I didn't want to go, I called every sub I knew but no one could do it. So I went, cheered up and just decided it would be good (with kind encouragement from Jill and Christian). I got there and had 12 people. Sign in was a breeze - no money exchange at all, no new people at all. Somehow, I managed to learn everyone's names. Awesome. And then I started and the energy in the room nearly blew me away - I felt like I was floating from all the good, happy, energetic, positive vibes flying around. The heat was perfect, hardly anyone had to take a break but enough did that I knew it was hard enough/hot enough. By the end, I was so incredibly grateful to this particular group of students - though I was there to serve them, it was them who served me in the end. I felt amazing, they all seemed so happy and cheerful on the way out - everyone wins :)
So this is what is happening now. Now that the dialogue is fairly solid; now that I can notice common mistakes and help with corrections without missing a beat or leaving people hanging; now that I walk in confidently and feel ready, prepared and capable of teaching. Now, I feel like I belong there, and I'm allowed to be there.
That all said, there is so much to work on. I still study my dialogue because you do lose it if you don't - I will find phrases I realize I've not said in two weeks! Oy! Shame on me. I also still need to figure out how to deal with droves of new people all in one class. One of the less tangible challenges is when the room is full of mixed up crazy energy - when most in the class are *not* focused, lots of fidgeting and what not. Despite reminding everyone and even occasionally calling it out, I still find some classes are very disjointed in terms of energy and I'd like to contnue working on the skills to close that gap, not for me, but for them. Having practiced in that kind of class many times, it can be so draining, especially if you happen to be right on the edge of a rough/unfocused class yourself. In those cases, I know I look to the teacher to manage the room and get things in sync.
Logistically, I'm in good order. I remember back when I started doing Bikram yoga, I would take an eon to prepare, make sure I had all my little thingys to be ready. As a teacher - same thing - I had this little bag with everything you could ever need: toiletries, extra contacts, glasses, dialogue, a watch, blowdryer, curling iron, extra set of clothes, towel...goodness. Now, I throw on my clothes, make sure I can see (contacts or glasses), put the watch on and go. No need now for all that over-planning, I know I'll be ok with the basics. And there it is: Aren't we all just fine with the basics??!!
Otherwise, I hope all is well. I know the next TT starts soon and many of your are gearing up to go! You are ready, trust yourself, trust your body, and be ready to experience whatever comes at you :)