2020 has been a year of change. I am growing both personally and professionally by taking the teacher training course offered by Suzette Hammond of Being Tea. This is the third installment in a series where I share my experiences during Being Tea Teacher Training, an intensive 7 month-long program.
At the start of the month, Suzette emails a PDF of the workbook for the next module. The course is self-paced for the most part, so we usually have until the end of the month to digest the material. I really enjoy being able to take my time with it. I take copious notes when studying and have found myself quickly filling a notebook. Teaching theory is entirely new to me, and there is so much information that I want to be able to refer back to. Writing things down also helps me to commit them to memory.
Module 3: Presence & Presentation
The third module of the course focuses on the concept of space, both physical and energetic. This is a topic that I have not given much thought to before. We often think of teaching as someone standing in front of a room and repeating facts on a subject that they are knowledgeable about. There is so much more to it than that, and the workbook definitely got me thinking in the right direction. As teachers, we have to be present for our students while also doing our best to work within the environment that we are provided with.
When stepping into an environment to conduct a class, remember that you are the space holder.
You have the freedom, in many cases, to make adjustments to help yourself feel comfortable in that role, in order to do your job effectively. Those adjustments may be large or small, but they are always available to you.Suzette Hammond
Mindfulness and attunement were both discussed in depth during this module. I was particularly fascinated by the section when Suzette discussed the scientific reasons why we are so affected by other people’s energy and emotions. I think this is something we’ve all felt before, but we might not know the why behind it. One thing I really enjoy is that the workbooks include information from a variety of sources. The tips on holding space from The Chopra Center gave me a lot of food for thought.
The last section of module 3 focused on public speaking. I’ve never quite felt comfortable doing that, so getting tips from an experienced pro was very beneficial. It closed with an activity where we were asked to describe how we might handle different situations while teaching a class. Some were fairly easy to answer, while others triggered a bit of a deer in headlights reaction. I definitely think it is important to be mentally prepared when things do not go exactly as planned.
For each module, there is a group session with other members of the teacher training cohort and a private session with Suzette. Our group session focused on Tea 101, one of the classes we’ll need to teach for graduation. There is so much to think about, but it is so helpful to digest it with the help of others’ perspectives. The timing was perfect as I then had the chance to observe an incredible Tea 101 class taught by one of my fellow students.
I mentioned this briefly in other installments, but this course has been truly challenging. It has changed my way of thinking and opened my mind to possibilities that I had never considered. There is no doubt in my mind that this course is making me a better tea educator. I am looking forward to putting what I am learning into action.