Updated: May 27, 2020
Zoom usage is through the roof, with some people reporting mixed results – great for connectivity, bad for fatigue.
Here’s 10 things I’ve gained using Zoom to teach The Alexander Technique this month.
1. Suddenly I’m international! I always wanted this for my work but I never quite knew how I’d get it. This week I’ve taught in Romania and Norway as well as the UK and I’ve chosen to take my own weekly professional development class in the States. I love this connectivity it really makes me tick.
2. I get to learn SO MUCH MORE about a person’s habits just by seeing them in their home; how they lean into the computer when they talk, how their desk is actually set up, what difference the light through their window makes at different times of day. It means I can offer them more really direct and clear expertise that gets straight into their life. Their home also allows for some creativity – we get to have fun using whatever props/furniture they have lying around.
3. I have to really really work on my verbal instructions, which is both great practice for me and also for them as they have to really listen to feel out the instruction in their body. One of the things that I have sometimes noticed about face to face teaching is the extent to which some pupils ‘abandon’ themselves to your hands, thinking it is your ‘magic hands’ and not their own brains and bodies that are fundamentally changing during the lesson. Alexander Technique is all about a shared responsibility between teacher and pupil and in this new online version the pupil is required to step up from the start. This change is creating some great results.
4. The standard of my observation skills is on the up too; I’m enjoying using the screen to notice overall patterns of body use that sometimes are harder to see when you have the actual ‘live’ person there talking to you - which is lovely but also a lot more distracting!
5. Pupils are also less distracted - knowing that whatever they have next is not going to take them a tube or bus ride, with the potential delays that might cause, to get to it. Far less 'I must just send a quick text' is going on.
6. Linked to 5, because people are less distracted I need to spend less of the lesson creating ‘calm’ in my pupil’s body and we can get more done.
7. I’ve been able to help people reduce and get rid of neck and back pain - this is always a fantastic feeling but it’s doubly so at a time when it’s impossible to receive a physical treatment.
8. Suddenly the dream of teaching people daily over a short space of time is achievable! I’m finally able to offer my pupils a way to have 5 lessons per week and the results have been brilliant.
9. Pupils are really experiencing how different their bodies can feel if they just (allow me to) change their thinking.
10. I have the option to invite a goat to our class whenever I want! Courtesy of Sweet Farm Animal Shelter in Silicon Valley - you certainly don’t get option when hiring a treatment room! And pupils having their pets/children/family/housemates pop in and out has also added humour and humanity to the lessons that I’m really enjoying.
Thank you Zoom, I appreciate you 😊
My 3 tips for using Zoom to teach online
1. Acknowledge the differences: 30 mins on zoom is more intense than 30 mins meeting in person. Make changes to help people stay focused.
2. For me I’ve found little and often is better; for example I’ve split 1 hour lessons into 30 minutes blocks twice a week instead and it’s more successful.
3. Let go of perfection and stay alert to what your pupil is telling you.
Want a Zoom lesson yourself? I’d love to teach you. Get booked in here