Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

I’ve been teaching a lot more classes for the younger crowd. Pre-K, Storybook with parent, Mom and Baby. I have loved teaching these little guys. Each week I am slightly surprised to see which classes go swimmingly and which is having an off week. My storybook class has been really fun, fast (just 1/2 an hour) and a great mix of ages from parents of toddlers to 5 year olds. Each class starts with a breathing exercise, a centering song, sun salutation and then we add some new poses and read a story while acting it out with yoga poses, finishing with savasana. The class has been going really smoothly. Today, not so much. I had some new families mixed in with some regulars. It was a good class size. What went wrong? I remember the exact moment when I missed the boat. I had my pre-class music on and I went to change it and it went right to the centering song. I like to start seated, talking through a breathing exercise but I decided to just push along. Mistake. I missed that moment in class when I connect with the kids and parents. I recognize each person and there is an exchange in some way which helps connect them to me and to the class. I missed this key ingredient today and it was noticeable. One of my regular little boys was not interested in participating as much and the newer families also had some reluctant participants. I continued with the class but the energy was just off the whole time.

I remember reading a post from my fellow kids yoga blogger Aruna Humphry that classroom management is not about “controlling” the class but connecting with the class. I totally believe it. To get the respect of your class you first have to “see” the class; its so important to interact with the children so that they know that you’ve really seen them. It is similar to parenting in that if you are always talking to your children with your back to them while doing something else, your children miss the connection although you may have heard what they were saying. Stopping what you are doing, crouching down to their level, looking in their eyes while they talk is a confirmation that they matter and that you both hear and see them.

I found these great classroom management videos on youtube. I love the premise, and, although I have not implemented the ideas yet, I have a plan when the need arises. I would love to hear what other kinds of classroom management techniques people use to connect to their students and keep the class running smoothly. Please share!

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