Hi, are you the Teacher?
Before we get to the actual entry for the day– Merry Christmas to all of y’all that are celebrating this weekend! = )
I wrote a post a while back about class manners and some pointers on things that we should all, as students, keep in mind to maintain a happy and fun class environment. Because we are all indirectly responsible for the positive vibe in a class, and making sure that we all have as great of a class experience as possible.
One of the things that I touched on back then was the idea that if you are taking class, no matter who you are outside of that hour or two, you are there as a student. You should not be trying to teach anyone else. For one, it’s a liability issue for the studio: they aren’t insuring you and cannot be responsible for what you choose to tell someone else to try or do. Secondly, it’s incredibly disrespectful to the teacher. But a third reason that I didn’t mention, is: it can be disrespectful to the person that you are trying to “teach”, especially (!!) if they haven’t asked for your “help.”
This happens a lot. You might be completely well-intentioned, and you might be seeing someone do something simple that if they would just fix, they would nail the trick. It can be really tough—I mean, I would always be grateful for a correction from someone, even a stranger, because hey—I’m not too proud to get feedback and if it helps me to be a better poler, then I’m all for it. With friends, or people who I regularly share poles with, I’d like to think I know what kind of honesty to have with someone and when to volunteer feedback. I try to do it in a way that isn’t disruptive to the class, and if I know the instructor is coming around I’d rather they come and offer advice then butt in myself.
It’s all about intention. There’s a difference between wanting to genuinely HELP someone, and wanting to feel better then them or gaslighting them. Wanting to feel superior, or put them in their place by showing them exactly what they’re doing badly. There’s a difference between being a positive influence and a negative one. Are you “teaching” or are you just pointing out things that aren’t perfect? And keep in mind—class should be a safe place to make mistakes, and mess up—because you’re learning NEW THINGS!
Next time you feel words of constructive criticism ready to bubble out, think really carefully about how those words will impact the classmate you are going to say them to. And if you have any doubts about whether or not you should—well, don’t worry, the teacher’s making their rounds, and will be at your pole shortly.
Monday’s post: Patience…