Yoga students often have a lot of respect for their teachers and can be hesitant to give feedback. However, constructive criticism can be helpful for teachers to improve their teaching and meet the needs of their students. One of the areas that we focus on during our yoga teacher training is how to both give and receive feedback as a yoga teacher - we have tools in place to receive feedback so that we can take steps closer to mastery when we analyze feedback received.
You are helping out your teachers whe you are willing to provide feedback. Here are five tips to help students give feedback to their yoga teachers in a constructive and helpful way:
Be specific: When giving feedback, be as specific as possible. Instead of saying "I didn't like the class," explain what you didn't like or what could have been improved. For example, "I found the pacing of the class to be too fast for me, and I had trouble keeping up with the sequence." This kind of feedback is more helpful than vague comments that the teacher may not be able to act upon.
Use "I" statements: When giving feedback, use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. For example, instead of saying "You didn't explain the pose clearly," say "I had trouble understanding the instructions for the pose." Using "I" statements can help the teacher understand how their teaching impacted you, rather than feeling like they are being attacked.
Offer suggestions: Don't just point out problems, offer suggestions for how the teacher could improve. For example, "It would be helpful if you could break down the pose step by step, and provide modifications for students who are not as flexible." This kind of feedback is more helpful than just pointing out the problem.
Be respectful: Even if you have negative feedback, it's important to be respectful and kind. Remember that your teacher is a human being who is doing their best. Try to approach the conversation with an open mind and a spirit of collaboration - and extend generosity assuming they are doing the best they can.
Choose the right time and place: When giving feedback, it's important to choose the right time and place. Don't give feedback in the middle of class, as this can be disruptive to other students. Instead, try to schedule a private conversation with the teacher after class. This will give both of you the time and space to have a productive conversation.
Remember, giving feedback to your yoga teacher can be helpful for both you and the teacher. By following these five tips, you can give constructive feedback that will help your teacher improve their teaching and better meet your needs as a student. A bonus tio is to ask the teacher if they are open to feedback - this gives them a way to pass if they are not ready to here feedback. Also remember, feedback is a two-way street, and your teacher may also have feedback for you. Keep an open mind and approach the conversation with a spirit of collaboration, and you can both benefit from the feedback process.