In order to be a good teacher it is important to remember what it means to be a student. As a teacher, one of my best practices is to go be a student again. Being able to embody beginner’s mind, even as an “expert” or “senior teacher”, gives me great insights to bring back to my own teaching. When becoming a student again, I stive to be really clear about taking off the teacher’s hat and being hungry for knowledge.
When I study with other teachers I often notice that their organization of materials, presentation and teaching styles are different than what I would do. Many times, I learn teaching methods that I want to try in my own courses. The experiences help me grow as a teacher and trainer.
Sadly, there are times when I learn what I would want to avoid doing. Sometimes it is disoragnized materials or presentation; sometimes the way that students’ questions are handled. If the teacher asks for feedback or has an evaluation form I will be honest about my experience. For example, I recently took a teacher training in a particular style of yoga. The experience was a wonderful workshop, but not much as far as a teacher training. There was no opening to give feedback, so I kept my opinions to myself. These experiences also help me grow as a teacher and trainer.
In teaching the Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Trainings we ask for written feedback from students of each training. Over 15 years this feedback has shaped the training into what it is today. Cheri and I are very grateful for our students help in crafting our training.
June 2012, NYC