Three Things That Make a Big Difference

“The best portion of a good man’s life, his little, nameless,
unremembered acts of kindness and love.”
~William Wordsworth

As teachers, you and I are in the unique position to improve the quality of the lives of our students.  Every time a student walks into our classroom, we get to help make their day a little better.

Extraordinary teachers know this, and while providing a fun, safe exercise environment, Extraordinary Teachers also know that they are in the business of changing lives!

Whether you’re teaching cycle, yoga or step, I have found that there are three BIG things that really make a difference with our students (and a thousand small things, but we will get to those in time)

1) Learn Names 

Everyone likes to hear their name, and they especially like to be acknowledged for doing something right.  If this is a challenge for you, try learning one new name every time you teach.  Say their name three times during the class, and make a note if you need to.

I carry a small notebook in my bag with a page for names.  It also helps me to think of someone else I know with the same name and then picture those two people together in my mind.

2) Create Community

In every class, I try to give my students one opportunity to meet another person in class.  I might start by asking them to introduce themselves to the people on either side of them.  Or ask them to find one person in the room that they don’t know and say hello.

Partner exercises are a great way to connect folks, and you can have them talk about their favorite movie, or vacation spot during one exercise.  There is plenty of research about the impact of community in a group exercise setting and exercise adherence.

Keep them coming back, and make sure they feel that they are missed when they’re not in class.

3) Be a Coach

Extraordinary Teachers do more that just demonstrate form and cue.  They study the techniques of world-class coaches and learn how to get the most out of their athletes.  They view their students as athletes and give them opportunities in class to see the best in themselves.

Bring in inspirational quotes, repeat the lyrics of a song that’s powerful and uplifting.  Example:  If Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ is playing during Boot Camp, repeat “You’ve just got to ignite the light and let it shine!  Own the night!  You’re a Firework!”

Make sure to acknowledge effort over results, and always ask them to notice how great they feel at the end of class.

Put these three Biggies together in your next class…and let’s change some lives!

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