By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Becoming a certified Yoga teacher has never been easy. Due to the quality of online courses, and the evolution of distance education technology, the common hurdles of distance, travel, time, and expense have been removed from the process. Below is the dialogue of a recent interview about Yoga teacher distance education and contact hours.
Q: Do you think that the teacher’s abilities and training have an effect on outcome?
A: Over the long term, the process of becoming a great Yoga teacher is a life-long journey. The teacher with the desire to keep learning will become the best he or she can be. This factor cannot be measured in the initial 200-hour training, whether it is by correspondence or at an on-site training.
Q: Do you believe there are some topics that cannot be taught using distance education technology?
A: No, each topic, although some are complicated, can be taught using distance education technology. Probably, the most complex subject to learn, in a Hatha Yoga training, is when and how to assist.
Yet, there are two very strong texts which cover the principles of assisting, and can be found in any book store. One of them has a DVD enclosed within the text. At the same time, new DVDs and books are being created on a daily basis.
If a student still had difficulty understanding the principles of assisting, adjusting, modifications, and alignment, he or she, should seek out a teacher as a mentor. Just because we have the internet is not a reason to abandon the traditional teacher / student relationship.
Q: How do students, taking correspondence courses, only, compare in testing results to residential students?
A: There seems to be very little difference. We have guest teachers, who graduated from our correspondence course, and their teaching performances are equal to our graduates who attended our on-site Yoga teacher training courses.
Q: Do you use internet, teleconference, or computer technology for any of your courses?
A: Yes, but most of our conferencing is private, one-to-one, question and answer sessions. When an intern is having difficulty grasping a concept, we communicate over the phone or by Email.
Q: Under what conditions can distance education be considered contact?
A: At this time, it is up to the world’s Yoga registries to sort this out. When Yoga interns are being monitored by video technology, the teacher trainer can easily see strengths and weaknesses. The video feedback process is very important. Video Technology is definitely a form of contact. Just like anything else, mistakes we learn from teach us lessons we will never forget.
© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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