Yoga in the classroom

Today’s post is devoted to the types of class that I teach on a daily basis. English First offers three types of classes daily at all centers in Beijing. These classes are Workshops, Face-to-Face classes and English Corners. The workshop classes usually have between five and twenty students and they are structured with the teacher standing at the front of the class and directing everyone. However, like all the classes offered here, the focus is on the students speaking. We like to move away from “TTT” or otherwise known as Teacher Talk Time.

The second class offered is the Face-to-Face class. This class consists of no more than four students and is heavily focused on the students speaking and the teacher giving individual feedback to students. The class is held in a much smaller room with the teacher sitting at a table with the students.

Then there is the The English corner. This class is a time for the teacher to provide a focus of a class and it is also  a chance when teachers are given the opportunity to discuss topics they are passionate about. Some teachers may focus their English corners on music, some culture, some travel and etc. For the first three months of teaching, teachers are encouraged to host a variety of English corners in order to get their bearings.  After two months, they are given the opportunity to make their own designated English corner that has a specific focus for the remainder of the year.

When my manager asked me what I wanted my English Corner focus to be, I immediately told her I wanted it to focus on health and well-being.  Not only am I passionate about this topic, I have also seen a need for it in my students. Sometimes I walk into a classroom and all of the students have bags under their eyes, two cups of coffee on their desks and far too many tablets or iPhones open. Most of my students are under immense pressure to perform well in their jobs. Beijing is a tough city to live in.  In fact, a great deal of my students are at EF in order to improve their English speaking skills for their careers. Not only do some of my students work 10 hour days, they also have families and take the time out of their day to learn English.

 I gave her a proposal about the need for students to relax and overall possess a better sense of how they can stay healthy in the crazy city that is Beijing. In my proposal I mentioned incorporating physical aspects of teaching into my class as well. AKA, show them some basic Yoga/Pilates moves that could benefit from.  Yoga is also rooted in Asian culture and many of my students are passionate about learning more about the practice. My manager said nothing like that had ever been done in done in the center but she was very open to the idea. After doing some more research, I made another proposal to her demonstrating how students could benefit from taking fifteen minutes to activate their bodies as well as their minds. She thought it was a great idea. And so my Recreational English corner begins. After meeting with the woman who schedules all of our classes, we decided that my yoga classes will happen during the the third week of every month. 

 Next week my first yoga class will begin. Currently, my class is being promoted around my center.  Students are going to bring their own mats to my center and Cristina the Yingfu Loashi (English Teacher) will take on the dual role as Yoga Laoshi. I am very excited to put my energy into the (hopeful) success of this class!



5 thoughts on “Yoga in the classroom

  1. Cristina, I am so proud of you!! I LOVE your Yoga idea!! I just finished all of my cancer treatments and surgeries, and I have had 3 doctors tell me to do yoga! I think it is very good for the mind and body! I love reading your post, and look forward to seeing you when you come back!!! Love, Janet Wallace Yancy

    • Janet,

      Your feedback means so much to me. Thank you so much for your support and that is absolutely amazing that your doctor recommended yoga for your treatment. Practicing yoga does wonders for the body and mind. I hope all is well and hope to hear from you again soon!

      xoxo Cristina

  2. Cristina,
    I love reading your posts! You should be so proud of yourself:) Your life right now is so interesting
    Good luck with your new yoga class and send me all of your posts please.
    xoxo Katherine

    • Katherine!

      It’s so great to hear from you. Thank you so much for taking an interest in my blog and following my adventures. I hope all is well on your side of the world. Give Kaan a big hug from his cuz!

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