Now, I'm a yoga-teacher-teacher, so I know that there's a time for evaluation in yoga, but today I was caught a bit off-guard.
I am teaching yoga to kids at my daughter's school during their gym period for 4 weeks. It's a lot of fun and I've had lots of challenges dealing with this group, so it's a complex situation. Today I go in and the teacher tells me he's going to be evaluating the kids in the class today. "What?!" I'm thinking to myself. He quickly added, "for participation," and I didn't freak out. I started the class and I thought I really want to set them up to win and do well so how can I help them out here. I don't think I did much differently but I made sure I was clear about the instructions and made sure they followed up on what I'd told them to do because the teacher had said he was looking to see if they did what I told them to (yikes). The class went really well as they knew they were being observed and seemed to mess around less than usual.
And as it turns out, they all got an A+ I was told by one of the kids after school who asked the teacher. Phew! Can you imagine failing at yoga? We had square dancing when I was in elementary school and I'm sure we were evaluated on our alamain lefts and dosidos, but I didn't really notice at the time. So I learned today that I could perhaps run their class each time like it's going to be an evaluation class. Make things super clear, wait to see that they're doing what I told them to, and have a real sense of purpose when I'm working with them. Having a guy stand around with a clipboard, taking notes, would probably help too!