Teacher things – July 2019

I taught a really powerful yoga class the other morning. Ironically it was a power yoga class. Power yoga is a vinyasa style class with a few strengthening exercises thrown in there. I really enjoy these classes. The energy needs to be built up quite high so that everyone feels like they can push through it and get there.

But as I was going around putting eye pillows on the students in shavasana, I noticed one students arms and legs. Not noticeable if one was just walking past or at a glance. But I placed the eye pillow on her, I saw little white lines dotted across her arms and thighs.

The marks of self harm.

It broke my heart. I held my hands over her for just a moment longer than everyone else, to send her some love and courage to face whatever she held inside her. I don’t know this girl; she only came to the one class and I might never see her again.

But it reminded me of the passage of a book I read last year. It spoke about another character having these meteor lines in the sky of their skin. It spoke about scars not being for people that lost, but for winners. Here is the passage from the book.

Scars mean that we survived. That’s the lesson here.

I realised then, that instead of my heart breaking for this girl, it beamed with pride. This girl had survived whatever had happened in her mind and life. She was strong and brave enough to keep going.

And even more than that; she was brave enough to be wearing a crop top and shorts, and showing them. She did not feel ashamed or defeated, and nor should she.

It took me to another really important thing that I need to remind myself of every time I teach. Teaching is a very important job and not just in a classroom.

We remember all the really inspiring and great teachers we had, but we also remember the really terrible ones who didn’t allow us to believe in ourselves. But not all teachers remember their students because there are just so many of them.

I plan to be a teacher that can allow students to be themselves and be proud of that. The plan is to empower people and be a teacher who allows them to be exactly who they want to be without apology.

I plan to be a teacher that congratulates students on their flaws and their triumphs alike because that’s what we should all do for each other.

You can buy a copy of The Other Hand by Chris Cleave here.
See more of my adventures and teaching experiences with other blog posts from the last year here.

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