I love new students. I get so excited for anyone venturing into the Bikram Yoga world, having their first class and getting the honor of guiding them through. I make a huge effort to give them attention and props, make sure they don't get hurt, and encourage them to come back ASAP.
Well, summer is a slow time for Bikram here. So the studios come up with little specials to entice people in from the (rare, short-lived) Seattle sunshine. One of my studios has a deal where you get 10 classes for a mere $10. This causes a lot of people to give it a whirl, which is great - except they come in droves. Last night, my smallish 8:15 p.m. class of 10 people had 2 regulars, 4 people within their first 5 classes, and the rest - 4 - were first-timers. It made my brain hurt! I so badly wanted to give each of them the attention I typically can give to a newbie (usually one, or maybe 2) amongst a room full of regulars. I wasn't able to though, ended up going way over - in fact, for the first time, I skipped the second set of final stretching! A sin, but we were 5 minutes over at 9:45 p.m. and I just had to do something. It was also the first time I had someone leave the room, though I gave her the what'for and reminded the rest of the class why not to do that.
Similarly earlier that morning, I had my 6 a.m. uber-focused regulars, and then at 9:30, the energy in the room was just all over the map! Three newbies - all super young (17, 18...) - and a few who'd only been a few times and then a couple regulars. This, the morning after teaching the class-that-was-to-be-power, with 18 people who had to re-adjust to the change on the spot. Oy! I feel a little wiped, and am glad I don't teach again until Saturday afternoon, one of my favorites to teach.
I'm not trying to complain at all - it's just interesting the ups and downs of teaching, the curveballs I've gotten and the fact that they often seem to get hurled your way all at once. And, being a new teacher, it is challenging when in certain moments, you seriously have no idea what to do to deal with something, so you guess/do your best and hope for the best. I imagine more experienced teachers have a better sense of what to do based on repeated experiences. I look forward to getting more and more experience, so when these things come up, I have a little more of a handle on what to do and can feel good about it afterwards, and more importantly, the students can feel good about it :)