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   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 tried this game with my preschool 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?

Get Your Kids Yoga Teacher Training

Now Online!

Train during the temporary online provision from Yoga Alliance

*2021 Dates Pending Yoga Alliance extension of online training provision.

You’ll be glad you did it!

  1. I find the classroom management issue to be one of the more daunting tasks of new kids yoga instructors. School teachers are taught numerous skills and techniques for directing and re-directing behavior, of anticipating difficulties and leading children to appropriate outcomes even before challenges arise. Here are some 5 suggestions from Yoga In My School on how to avoid disruptive behavior in kids yoga class

    I’ll be releasing part 2 of our Classroom Management 101 series with Kids Yoga Academy before Christmas.

    Love the idea of bringing in want-ads to teacher training: real world expectations.

    Donna Freeman

  2. Thanks again Antoniette for the blog post and comment.

    In this way I do like the Yoga Alliance standard of 90 hours of training, which includes 15 hours of training in teaching methodology. As well as 6 hours observing classes and 12 hours practice teaching as part of the training.

    On the one hand, new kids yoga teachers have access to more training, on the other hand, they don’t have the luxury of learning on the job. The bar has been raised.

  3. Great post!

    I would definitely offer that I think a good kids yoga training is also key. Any good training will cover behavior management techniques, in addition to making kids yoga fun, engaging and beneficial. My experience is that behavior management is less about being ‘strict’ and more about ‘listening to’ and addressing the needs of the kids at any given moment.

    Your readers might also enjoy a post in our blog, The Kids Yoga Resource, on this very subject titled, How Do I Manage Challenging Behavior in a Kids Yoga Class?:

    • Oh yes, I remember that post from the Kids Yoga Resource blog. It is the ongoing challenge for a new kids yoga teacher to figure out classroom management. I like your point about “listening to” the needs of the kids. Thanks for the comment.

      I showed this want-ad in my last training. it was an eye opener for everyone to understand that rather than taking course after course with other adults, they actually need to see kids in action to know what to do. Once one knows the classroom management, the other courses are essential for new ideas to keep the classes interesting and for professional development.

    • Yes you are so right!! Having a good teacher training is key! Yet I still
      Find that you can take training in classroom a management in teacher training… With other adults.
      But it doesn’t garrentie that you will be able to manage the class.
      And yes it is about getting to children to listen as apposed to being stricked.
      A better description would be ” clear directions”‘
      I’m glad you liked the post !!
      Thanks Antoniette