When your teacher is your student

In teacher’s training we had to teach a certain number of classes to graduate. Of course, my teacher and fellow students all attended. I was very used to getting feedback and having my mentor in the room. When I graduated I took over a Sunday morning timeslot that I’ve been teaching for several years now.

One morning my teacher showed up. This was unusual, as Sundays are her one definite day off a week. She told me she was going to take class with me. Internally I gave a little “yay” and kept checking in students. From time to time other teachers from the studio take class with me and there is a certain amount of fun and camaraderie when you have your peers in class. I always enjoy it.

I rarely get butterflies before I teach anymore. As I was walking into the room, I saw my teacher and immediately was thrown back to teacher training. I broke out in a cold sweat, got butterflies and couldn’t really remember what I had planned.

This was an excellent lesson for me because guess what …. she just did the class. I would teach a flow and she would do it, just like everyone else.   Plus I think it bumped up my regular students game a little bit, to have the studio owner in class with them.

Over the years I’ve run into people in class that I would rather not see or teach, who made me nervous or anxious for one reason or another.   I actually found it more difficult as a student to know that person was in the room with me.  As a teacher although there may be a student, or an incident, or something you bring into the classroom with you that is distracting, there are things that you have to work beyond in order to give a good class.

As yoga teachers no matter what our certification may be, we will always have teachers. I am lucky enough to have my teacher right down the street and can access her wisdom often (and I do!) Having her in class was a special treat and next time it happens, I’m going to take that deep calming breath, remember she’s there as a student and enjoy the heck out of teaching her!

And when there is someone or something in class that throws me out of teaching mode I’m going to take that deep calming breath and go about teaching class.