Maybe your journey started with wanting to heal yourself or to help someone you love, or maybe you were just curious. Either way, you started learning—about yoga therapy, raw food, 5Rhythms dance—and as you learned and your own life was transformed, you heard yourself saying, “Maybe I could teach this?”
You felt a little thrill … wouldn't it be wonderful to turn other people on to the goodness you're experiencing? But then maybe you got afraid or confused. How do you know if you are ready to teach? And can you make money at it?
To find out, take this teaching readiness quiz.
Can you freely admit, "I don't know"?
____ No, I should be the expert
Teaching does not require you to be an expert! That's an outdated model of teaching. Being a teacher entails convening a safe space for discovery (shame free) and sharing enthusiastically what you do know. You can't know everything about your subject—that's impossible. Teach what you do know, then open up dialogue and share resources to address all you don't. Humility makes for a great teacher.
Do you proudly claim your lineage?
____ Of course.
____ I'm worried I won't be original.
____ What's a lineage?
For many of the 1,006 students who have taken my program TeachNow, the lineage exercise is the second most powerful teaching. In a nutshell, we reflect on whose shoulders we stand on and whose teachings we are building upon. New teachers often assume they need to invent everything they teach, even the underlying ideas. If that were true, every field of learning would be stunted beyond recognition. We all build on so many threads of knowledge. Do so joyfully by citing your sources, weaving in your own experience and stories, and letting everything cook together to create something new.
Do you confuse teaching with preaching?
____ I would never do that!
_____ I do have strong opinions.
_____ But I have so much to say!
Teaching is showing, preaching is telling. Teaching opens up a space for your students to find within themselves what you are pointing toward. You may know yoga nidra or intuitive eating or barefoot walking is going to help your students, but telling them rarely sticks. Instead, are you willing to create ways for them to experience what you love for themselves? Skip the sermons and create experiences, exercises, or dialogues where people can find their own truth.
Teaching = Poverty
____ That's rubbish.
____ My parents were teachers and money was tight.
____ I'll be poor but noble.
Teaching in mainstream systems has often meant big personal sacrifices. But independent teachers using the Internet are thriving like never before. By learning to market through teaching and presenting your classes and courses consistently and persuasively, teaching can become a wonderful income generator.
Look around for examples. Who do you see thriving by teaching what they love? It is possible!
There you go, your teaching readiness checklist. How did you do?
Hint: the answers to the quiz are in the quiz. (Hopefully that's an example of good teaching.) Take these ideas to heart and join me April 3rd for a free class on teaching. Because the world needs what you know.