By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
When you are teaching a Yoga class for kids, it’s important to be ready to interact with the parents, as well as the children. If Yoga is a new activity for some, the parents are sure to have questions and concerns about what Yoga is, how it’s taught, and what they can expect their kids to experience during each class. If the parents have little experience with the practice and philosophies of Yoga, they probably have a few preconceived notions about Yoga. It is your job as a Yoga instructor to provide a positive experience for both the children and their parents.
Encourage Parents to Attend Class
Children will value the Yoga experience more when their parents show an interest. Always extend an open invitation to parents to attend class with their child any time they would like. Make parents feel welcome by greeting them with a smile and a handshake. Briefly explain the format of the class, any goals you have set for that day, or any other pertinent information, before class begins. If you find that parents are disruptive, let them know that if they have any questions during class, you would be happy to address them after class. Treat parents with respect and kindness at all times.
Listen First, Then Talk
When a parent comes to you with a concern, a question, or even a compliment – make sure to listen attentively. Give the parent your full attention by stopping whatever you were doing, making eye contact, and practicing positive body language. Don’t interrupt. When the parent is finished, acknowledge that you heard what they had to say, by summarizing, especially if it is a grievance. Then, carefully explain your point-of-view.
Return Calls Promptly
If a parent tries to contact you by phone or email, make sure to respond promptly, within a day or two. Let parents know the best way to contact you at the beginning of each class session by listing your work/office number and email. If you prefer to not be contacted at home, do not give out your home or mobile numbers.
Act with Integrity
Act with integrity by communicating openly and honestly with parents. Seek the help of a mentor teacher if you are faced with a difficult situation. Stand behind the philosophies of Yoga by treating your students and students’ parents with patience and respect. You will gain the trust of parents by proving to them that your class is a safe, productive environment for children to learn and grow.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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