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Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your Teacher Training

Congratulations on your decision to attend a Teacher Training! It’s a whole new and exciting world that you’re about to enter. Just since the Coronavirus pandemic began, I’ve taken both in-person and virtual courses and want to share some tips in order for you to have as much success as possible at the very beginning of your journey.

Before Your Training

  1. REMEMBER YOUR "WHY". Why are you doing this course? What do you hope to get out of it? How do you see this information helping you in the future? Where does your future lie, whether it be short term or long term? If you are there because you want to teach, make sure you’re looking at all the information as a teacher. If you are there to deepen your practice, please remember that this is not an intensive workshop or an immersion program. The goal is to learn how to teach this methodology.

  2. KNOW THE MOVEMENT/BE PREPARED. While there are the occasional people who come to Teacher Training without having ever taken a class in that area of movement, the majority would have been taking classes or private lessons for a while and had decided to become a teacher. You need to know the movement fairly fluently. Remember, you need to know more than the students you will soon be teaching. You do not need to know how to teach the movement, of course, but if you’re in a Yoga Teacher Training and the direction is to step into a Down Dog, you should know what to do.

  3. KNOW THE SCHEDULE. Your teacher should send out the schedule way ahead of time. Clear your days for your training.

On a more practical level:

Virtual Teacher Trainings

It’s amazing how the world adapted when the need to isolate was so dire. Learning switched to online and for the most part, adults were able to take it in stride. As a matter of fact, online learning opened up a plethora of possibilities that were excluded for some who could not travel to attend training and also for Master Trainers to be available to even more people. However, if your first time learning how to teach movement or exercise, a virtual course will hold many challenges.

  1. YOUR VIRTUAL SETUP needs to provide you space to move, and privacy to work undisturbed.

  2. GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS. Even though your teacher will not see if you are checking your email, do your best to stay present. You will miss information if your mind is wandering.

  3. HAVE SNACKS ON HAND. If there is a lot of lecture, light snacks will help keep you energized.

  4. LOG IN EARLY and wait for the teacher to start the meeting. If there are any technical issues, they will be discovered early enough to fix.

In-Person Trainings

  1. CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE. It doesn’t matter whether the training is near your home or if you have traveled to attend, if you can clear your schedule, you can focus your energies on learning.

  2. PLAN YOUR MEALS. Knowing what you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks will make your life a hundred-fold easier for your training. You might end up going out to lunch with your classmates but it is very helpful to have food to which your body is accustomed, while you are moving throughout the day. As well, at the end of the day, you would have already prepped or at least planned out your dinner so you won’t have to make one more choice in your tired brain.

  3. PAY ATTENTION. If you are like most adults, you probably haven’t had to pay attention to a teacher since your school days. And in this world of 10-second videos and the whole world at the other end of your modem, we all have the memory span of a goldfish. If your course allows it, take videos. If your course does not allow it, take notes (AND review them at home after class). Discipline yourself to stay present.

  4. STAY HYDRATED. Enough said.

  5. WEAR/BRING LAYERS. No matter the weather, if you are moving your body, your temperature will vary. Stay comfortable and your training will be a lot more pleasant.

  6. GET ENOUGH SLEEP. You may be in a new city that you’d like to explore and I highly encourage you to do so! But remember why you are there: save the partying until your course is over.

Do’s And Don’ts

  1. DO Ask Questions. Don’t be shy–if there is something you don’t understand or didn’t see or hear, ask! Some Teacher Trainers only allow questions at a designated time. If that is the case, write your questions down.

  2. DON’T Compare Yourself To Your Classmates. Everyone comes from a different background and everyone learns at different rates.

  3. DO Help Move Equipment if necessary. The more hands, the quicker the transitions and the more time you get learning and practicing.

  4. DO Consult With Your Classmates and listen to their interpretation of the information. But also DO confirm with the Master Trainer on the accuracy.

  5. DO Seek Extra Help if you need it. Perhaps the Master Trainer is available for private sessions or there are classes you can take or observe during your training.

  6. DO Get Together With Your Classmates for lunch or for coffee. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, chances are you are not alone. If you’re feeling on your game, you may have the opportunity to listen to someone who needs an ear or some support.

  7. DO Remember That You Are United As A Team. You’re all on the boat together. You’re either all rowing to get to your destination or you don’t get there.

If you have recently taken a Teacher Training and have thoughts to add, I’d love to hear from you!

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