One of the most common complaints I hear from school and youth yoga teachers is that kids and teens want to talk to each other. Of course they do! It’s part of their job. Youth (and adults) learn through socializing. So rather than trying to change this natural impulse, utilize it!
The Socratic Method of inquiry has proven to be one of the most effective tools for building a strong, respectful community in my classes. I always start class with a question. The question is thoughtfully chosen to either:
a. Review a previous lesson.
b. Introduce a new idea.
c. Engage students in a topic that leads to our lesson.
Ask the question and let them think on it for a moment. This is a great opportunity for reflection and contemplation. You’ve given them something tangible to think about. Then, either facilitate a discussion, let them discuss in small groups or with a partner.
Once students have had this time to talk and relate, they are much more willing to enter a quiet period of work. Satisfy the social need with a relevant talking topic!
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