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When I first started teaching yoga to kids, I used to write out these intricate lesson plans a week in advance and I would work so hard to memorize them so that when I got into class, I would have every moment planned out and ready to go.
I’ve learned a lot since then and wanted to share with you today a few tips on lesson planning.
(1) Always overplan. If you underplan, you can easily get caught in that uncomfortable state of “What now?”. A lot of times you’ll find that the exercises and activities you plan don’t last nearly as long as you anticipated and then you just fizzle out of material. Overplanning means that you can even afford to forget a thing or two and still have enough stuff to fill a whole class. And have some peace of mind.
(2) No matter what, make sure you are always off-book. Have your plans memorized and never bring a cheat sheet into class with you. If you want to hold court as the authority in the class–even with little children–you need to show them that you are confident and know your material inside and out.
(3) Think of your lesson plans as just that, plans. Sometimes even the best laid plans don’t come to fruition. You may have this fun, exciting activity planned for the kids and once they try it, they decide they don’t like it. What’s more they hate it. And they’ll tell you that, too. What now? You drop that plan immediately and move on to something else. Be sure you’re comfortable with your plan coming in, but at the same time remain totally unattached to it. If you suddenly forget what comes next, don’t stress out about it…just move on. Which brings me to…
(4) Have a back-up plan. If the kids are determined not to do what you have planned, pull something else out from your sleeve. I always carry a little bag of tricks with me to all of my classes. In it are all the sure-fire toys, props and games that I know every kid loves. If Plan A falls apart, Plan B falls on its face, and Plan C just falls flat, pull that rabbit out of your hat and create the magic that you know the kids will certainly respond to.
And that’s the mini yogis minute tip of the week. Check back every week to learn something new!
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