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For many senior yoga teachers, we left our first training with a passion for sharing yoga with others, but very little wisdom about how to go about doing that. So we stumbled and fell and made one mistake after another, but along the way we learned a lot about the art of teaching yoga.
Now the next generation of yoga teachers are hitting the streets and you have the opportunity to help them avoid some of those pitfalls while at the same time passing on some of your hard-earned wisdom. This short guide is designed to help you mentor new teachers in the Yoga Tree Advanced Teacher Training Program.
In the past, we tried to provide many more guidelines so that student-teachers would get a more uniform experience regardless of the teacher under whom they choose to study. While this system worked well for many, we found that giving teachers more freedom in how they mentor allowed them to address the unique needs of those they mentor. To that end, we have simplified the guidelines considerably.
TIMEEach mentoring relationship is at least 50 hours in length and lasts between six months and one year. Student-teachers can can log up to two session of mentoring in their Advanced Teacher Training logbook. Those two sessions can be with the same teacher or two different teachers. During the 50 hours, your student teacher will observe and assist in your classes, practice with you regularly and meet for coaching sessions. Each 50-hour mentorship is a separate purchase.
Assisting (15 hours)The student-teachers you mentor should be observing your class and assisting. You are in control of your class, so it is up to you to decide when they can assist, what types of assists they can do and so on. In fact, you can have them simply observe your class in the beginning if that feels like it will be better for them and your students.
Practice (15 hours)Your student teacher should be taking your class on a regular basis. The people you mentor get free classes with you while you mentor them.
Coaching (5 hours)As a mentor you are required to offer a minimum of five hours of coaching during their 50-hour mentorship. The topics you discuss and the way you structure these coaching hours is up to you. For example, some mentors prefer to do coaching sessions one-on-one while other offer group coaching for all the people they are mentoring at a given time. The important thing to consider, however, is that this is a time for new teachers to ask questions and bring up issues that have arisen in their own teaching. It is also a great time to help them develop a business plan, consider marketing ideas and of course get advice about the challenges of teaching.
Self PromotionWhile a student teacher may decide to attend your workshops, trainings, retreats and other events, this relationship is not about self-promotion. If they want information about your other offerings please give it in no pressure way. In other words, the mentoring work you do with them should be self sufficient rather than a gateway drug.
Official Mentor ListYou can choose to mentor at any point, but if you would like us to promote you we would be happy to do that. Please fill out THIS FORM to be included on our official list of mentors if you have not done so already.
The Right to DeclineMaybe you don’t feel a connection with a particular student-teacher who has expressed an interest in working with you, or maybe you have all student-teachers you want already. Whatever your reason, you will never be forced to take on a mentoring relationship. If you don’t want to mentor someone, for whatever reason, please stand in your truth and politely decline.