Teaching is multitasking
Earlier this afternoon I got a call from a teacher at the studio in which I will officially start teaching in October. She wanted me to sub for her general Hatha class that evening. Of course I jumped for the opportunity. But the moment I hung up with her, I started panicking. Evening classes are usually pretty full, meaning there are always at least 20 or so students (I was used to teaching only 5-6 students). I only got a few hours to prepare. Being a teacher with little experience, I always have to plan out my sequence a little bit to make sure they all flow nicely. On top of that, I was pretty distracted today, as I have alot of assignments and tests from school.
It wasn't disastrous, and yet it wasn't my best class. I think I started off pretty strong, but later on my tongue slipped a few times, and I froze a couple of times thinking what to do next. Now, thinking back, my explanation for bakasana was horrible.
It's easy to get lost in your thoughts as you try to lead the class into postures after postures. You are talking, demonstrating, giving tips, and keeping a watchful eye on the students all at the same time. It's a lot on the senses if you think about it! These are skills I know I need to refine, and that will come with the experience of teaching. Remember your first yoga classes? I guess you can relate teaching to that--there are just so many things to take in and notice.
Oh right, my back heel needs to be down. Oh wait, I need to draw my navel up too. Okay, shoulders relaxed? I think my knee is splaying inward...better bring it right. Oops, I think I just lost my back heel, and my stomach is protruding. I don't think breathing...
But after awhile, you start getting more in tune with your body so that you don't need to think as much as you go into your 529th Virabhadrasana. I think the same applies for teaching. As I become more familiar with the language of teaching, I can keep a more watchful eye on my class and my students. Perhaps my third eye will kick in eventually?
Nonetheless, there are many areas I need to improve on, and I am grateful that I have this opportunity to hone my skills and a wonderful community of teachers to support me.