Importance of Classroom Management for Kids Yoga Teachers
Hiring a good kids yoga teacher isn’t easy, according to kids yoga teacher and employer Antoniette Finelli of www.yogarocks.ca. She’s a specialist in yoga for kids on the lookout for teachers who can deliver a great class. In fact, she’s made a business out of it.
Kids like to play - but still need to follow instructions.
So what is Yoga Rocks looking for in a teacher? I’ll let this excerpt from the Yoga Rocks Job Posting speak for itself:
- Experience with kids is key.
- Understanding the dynamics of a classroom or group of kids is also very important.
- Being able to adjust your teaching style or lesson plan on the fly is also key!!
- Having a kids yoga teaching degree is not key, being able to manage kids and have fun at the same time is.
Having A Kids Yoga Teaching Degree Is Not Key
When I talked to Anoniette about her want-ad, she emphasized that she needs someone who can get the kids to listen. The best candidates she finds are those with experience in summer camps or gymnastics. She needs teachers who can take command of a group of kids, teachers who aren’t afraid of being strict.
Classroom Management Is A Skill That You Can Only Get Through Experience
Obviously the class has to be fun, but Finelli says many of those applying are scared of the kids so their classes turn to mayhem. Some new teachers think it’s rude to be strict. What they don’t know is if they can’t lead the class they’ll never get to the fun stuff, the challenging poses, that kids love. Finelli says, “You can’t teach the tough poses that kids get excited about, unless the kids can sit and listen and watch.”
When Yoga Rocks looks for new teachers they emphasize in the job posting:
- Tell us why you would be great for this job, and what you could bring to it. Not about your training or that you know how to lesson plan!!
Yoga Rocks pays a respectable $45/class, still Finelli is on the lookout for qualified teachers. It’s her reputation on the line if she sends in a teacher and the school rejects them.
3 Classroom Management Tips
Here are some Classroom Management tips from Finelli:
- Tools: Use tools, like a bell, to give the kids something to focus on. One game she plays with the kids is to focus on the sound of the bell for 3 rings, when the bell stops you can open your eyes. (Aruna’s note: I tired this game with my pre-school kids last week. One of the school teachers turned to the other and said, “We need to get a bell.” It works.)
- Set the Expectation of listening: Finelli counts down from ten to one. During this time everyone knows they must find a way to quiet down. Finelli usually gets everyone quite by the time she gets to six.
- Get experience with kids: don’t think that because you teach adults yoga you’ll be able to cross-over. With kids you need to be able to re-direct a situation really quickly, something that doesn’t happen in an adult class. Don’t be afraid of the kids, be their teacher.
Can You Take Charge of a Full Classroom?
If you are wondering if you’ve got what it takes to teach kids, you probably don’t. At least not yet.
You know it when you can teach a large class and have fun doing it. In Young Yoga Masters, we call it your Teacher Personality, and we offer people the opportunity to shadow kids classes. If you haven’t developed your teacher personality, consider volunteering with real children, the bigger the groups the better. Volunteer until you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you can lead a class.
Then give Yoga Rocks a call and help them show kids why yoga rocks!
Thanks to Antoniette Finelli for her valuable input for this blog post.
For readers: Do you think you will know you have classroom management skills when you get them? What do you do?