So I’m fresh out of teacher training and expecting it to be really hard to find work. Amazingly, a job falls into my lap within a month. A short interview, no audition, induction training – here’s the fire exits and here’s a big wadge of paperwork to read about our policies and procedures. They offer me 3 classes a week. Fantastic.
I’m used to training and public speaking. I’ve spent a year practicing my teaching on other trainee teachers and I’ve been practicing adjustments on my long suffering husband all through my year of teacher training so I feel pretty confident. I’m very calm when my first class arrive – the room is packed – they’ve all heard there’s a new teacher in town. The clientele is a bit different to what I’m used – ladies in their 70s, a pregnant student, another with Downs syndrome. When I dutifully ask about injuries and conditions a forest of hands goes up. Shoulders, knees, abdominal surgery. I frantically start to think about what I’m going to need to modify in my prepared class. They’ve all done some yoga – that’s a relief!
So off we go. My OAPs have a beautiful practice and know their limits. It’s the younger students I need to watch – they push and pull and puff and contort and the ideas of softening, surrendering and letting go just don’t register. We get through the class– broadly in accordance with the plan. I ask for feedback and it’s mostly positive – though the OAPs want a bit more meditation at the end and the younger students a bit less. Lesson one – you can’t please everyone.
Class number two is equally busy and I’m really in the flow now and enjoying myself. Good feedback again at the end and everyone wants to know if I’m coming back next week! As I leave the sports centre the receptionist tells me everyone was happy as they left. I walk to my car with a spring in my step.
The next day I have to see the manager for some more induction training. “I had an email about you this morning” he says. My heart sinks. In my experience, people only email the manager when they are complaining. But no! Someone has emailed to say how much they enjoyed the class. I am so touched I almost cry. Oh, I love my class and my first students will always be really special to me because of this small piece of kindness. It doesn’t matter who is was – I have credited them all with this little bit of joy they have brought me and that buoys me up every time I teach them.