The Psychologically Sound Yoga Classroom: Let Students Self Identify

As a teacher you do not own your students. They do not owe you their loyalty. You have to earn their trust.

Students are not yours to keep. They are gifts for reflection and impact. They are the other half of teaching.

Students are not leads or customers. They are human beings with open ears and hearts.

Despite the impulse to a call a student "My Student", refrain until they decide to call you "My teacher."

Try instead "A student who comes to my class" or a "A new student" or "A student who has been coming a lot".

Why is this distinction important?

Well you see, there is an inherent power differential between you and your students whether you like that or not. To disavow this, I fear is to disavow the power of teaching and the teacher student relationship. Students are looking to learn and be guided. And there is a looking to and towards. Honor this by giving them space to step forward in connection.

It can be deeply powerful for a student to attach themselves to a teacher. To you. Let them choose to identify as your student before you call them your student. If a student does select you for this honor, to call them your student is a sign of respect. Honor them as such.

To lay claim to them as your own otherwise is disrespectful of their freedom.

Let students self identify.
Because we all need attachment. And we all need freedom.

With Love,
Livia

Livia Shapiro