Thursday, July 17, 2014

I'm a struggling student

Yoga, running, and knitting help me think about students who struggle in my class. Knitting doesn't count as much as the first two because I've gained a lot of knitting skills in a short time, but yoga and running continue to kick my butt every single practice.

Practicing yoga in class with a great teacher is satisfying and humbling! There are always poses I can do much more readily than others in the room, and there are many poses that I see others achieve and feel only awe and think "I'm probably never going to do that". Some poses (usually involving lifting the body with hands/arms) make me laugh outright because I can't even believe the human body can do that right in front of my eyes! What I love best about good yoga practice and teaching is the idea that I can always do SOMETHING, a move or pose or even (especially) intention that will help me move closer to achieving that supposedly impossible pose and, most importantly, gain the benefits of that pose without actually achieving it (yet). In essence, every "impossible" pose is possible.

Yoga isn't a perfect analogy because my students don't choose to come to my class the same way I choose to go to yoga class. Even so, I think about my students when I practice the possible parts of the impossible poses. I think about being more patient with students who struggle, offering possible parts of impossible reading or writing tasks, emphasizing the learning process as change and growth, and acknowledging success at every stage of the process.

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