20 October 2016

English teacher, yoga master?

not the horse, only pic I have of me!

How do I reconcile myself as an experienced English teacher and beginner yoga student? I have been learning aerial yoga over the past 6 months and it is exhilarating. All our poses are practiced off the floor in hammocks and often upside down. Understand that at my age, expectations are LOW. It takes me longer to learn some of the poses without flipping out of the hammock in the most ungainly fashion.  I am learning new levels of humility in order to progress. Sometimes class has to stop for me to succeed. But I won't stop. When I open the door of the light-filled studio, each time I wonder if I will succeed at the Horse pose or now, the Standing Butterfly. My head rang with "I can't, I can't" the first three times we tried the Horse. My instructor kept saying, "you'll get it."

And then I did. Learned a big lesson about myself. But I can't help but wonder, as a teacher of teens often does, what are they thinking? Today we wrote an in class explication of a Shakespeare sonnet.Each person had their own sonnet and had spent a week "illuminating" it. So every student was as expert as any other person in the room, and still, I circled the class over and over again, cheering them on, telling them they could do it. Almost no one believed me: they all wanted to write a perfect paper, they wanted to know how many paragraphs, and what did I want them to say?! JUST TRUST ME. YOU'LL GET IT.

And so, they did. Why does the human animal fear growth so much? Why is belief in yourself so much harder than a Shakespeare sonnet--because it is, be sure of it. Today my English teacher lesson is to remember that it is more important to teach young people they CAN, rather than Shakespeare. I love my kids (and my yoga instructor).

1 comment:

Dan and Zina said...

Leslie - what a gifted writer you are!! that was so fun to read - and that is the my word for you - your never quit attitude! that is why you are a better version. May God continue to use your gifts and talents. Hugs and love, Zina