If you teach kids yoga you’re bound to have a few awkward moments, it goes with the territory. They sometimes happen when you try to engage kids with questions.
Kids Yoga Teacher Training Tips
It’s not unusual to use questions while teaching. The right question at the right time is engaging because kids love to show you what they know. It’s a common kids yoga teacher training tip to mix new ideas with comfortable concepts.
I remember two instances this summer, during our Kids Yoga Teacher Certification, when questions kind of backfired with similar surprising results.
The first was with a group of young kids in our Anatomy Camp practicum. The student teachers had created wonderful interactive activities to teach the muscles, bones, and organs. It was all going smoothly when one teacher’s planned question began to backfire.
Can you handle a Backfire?
All the kids were sitting crossed legged on the floor giving their full attention to her and her fun props and the unusual voice she was using as she introduced the brain. She followed her lesson plan till she got to the question, how much does the brain weigh?
Now, we had expected children between 5 years and 12 years in the class, but it turned out those who showed up were mostly 5 years old.
So when the teacher asked her question, I witnessed a tiny wave of concern spread on her face as she realized the kids had no idea of the correct answer.
That kind of question, where the kids are supposed to read the teachers mind, often flop when it comes to getting kids engaged.
Luckily, at five years old, you understood that you are being asked to give a number, so the little ones starting answering. One thousand, five hundred and forty eight, twenty six, it was a fun game even though no one had a clue if their guess was right. No one cared.
The fun was in the guessing, not in answering the question correctly.
Even though the question backfired by not producing the expected result of a correct answer, the kids remained engaged. A big reason was because of the encouraging energy the teacher maintained throughout, a sign of a mature kids yoga teacher. The kids never really knew there was a problem, and after all the numbers, the class moved on as planned.
Questions for Reflection in Kids Yoga
The second time the question kind of backfired happened to me. It was the end a series of six yoga classes in our Certification in Canada. I wanted the new teachers to hear the kids reflect on the six classes we spent with them so I asked how they were feeling at the end of this series.
The first child answered, “I loved the class, I’d give it an 11 out of 10!”
What a great response! Then hands shot up and the next child explained they also loved it and gave it 100 out of 10. Wow!
Then the refrain continued until I caught on:
- I give yoga 1000 out of one.
- I give yoga a million out of zero.
- The next child gave yoga a googol out of 10, explaining a googol is 10 to the 100th power (which is 1 followed by 100 zeros).
There were still a dozen hands in the air waiting to join the game.
I asked, “Who has an answer that isn’t a number?” Eleven hands were gone as quickly as their smiles. A couple kids expressed how good, relaxed, and peaceful they felt.
Smiling, I asked, “Who else wants to say a number.” With a cheer, eleven hands shot back up and happily took turns saying numbers again.
What does it all mean?
Maybe there is a scientist out there who can explain what is going on, but for a kid’s yoga teacher, questions that backfire become lessons in spontaneity. They teach you the joy kids feel playing, especially play without wrong answers.
In return for your hard work, you get to experience lessons that cannot be learned with adults.
As my meditation teacher would say, every question contains a quest. Asking children questions, you never know exactly where the quest will lead, but a mature teacher does know there will be playfulness, letting go of outcomes, and joy in the moment.
Upcoming Kids Yoga Teacher Certification
Come experience what yoga is like with real children in every Kids Yoga Teacher Modulde. The next one starts soon in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
See the details of the upcoming courses here:
Young Yoga Masters is a Yoga Alliance Registered Children’s Yoga School offering Training in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and more.
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