Building Your Teaching Manifesto
If you could distill down your purpose, passion, and facilitation as a teacher in one paragraph, could you do it? A few weeks ago, I led our teacher trainees through an exercise that helped to arrive at that very thing, and the results were so sweet. When I re-wrote my manifesto, I realized how much has changed since my last iteration, and felt re-inspired by my own gifts in a way that has formed my classes.
As such, I wanted to share the questions and my manifesto with you. Distinct from a teaching bio on a studio website, this manifesto serves as your compass. Especially if things have felt a little muddy or flat, this might be helpful.
1. Why am I here?
2. Why am I here, in the seat of a teacher?
3. What is it I want to be in service to as a teacher?
4. Who are my students?
5. What am I teaching?
6. What am I facilitating?
The beings who walk into my class probably come for some stretching and a nice dharma, but when they walk out, they have tasted Spirit coming into form, or, an experience of Wholeness. I believe that when my students have clear, unencumbered access to the details of their body, they’re taking a bite out of the universe. There is divinity in being a student of the way one’s pinkie toe interacts with their outer shin - especially when that studentship is taken, patiently, slowly, and over a long amount of time. We, my students and I, are in the practice of abhayasa, together. When I grow and learn, so too do they. We have a mutual, symbiotic relationship where when a student presses into urdhva dhanurasana, we both flourish. When a student is managing an injury, we both grow through practices of patience and kindness. I don’t preach, I share. And, when I fall short of these lofty words (as I have and will continue to do), I am totally held by the great Grace of the practice.