You may have noticed that our teachers often have an extra pair of hands to help before and after class, and sometimes with demonstrations and adjustments inside class too. These wonderful guys and gals are participants in the Rebel Monk Mentorship Programme, which helps recently qualified yoga teachers get insights and experience into the running of our Hawthorn yoga studio.
It’s an interesting time for anyone interested in becoming a yoga teacher. Teacher training courses are abundant like never before, and reasonably easy to get into. Of course it’s hard work to pass any course with decent standards, but most people make it through with a bit of effort. However once you’re qualified and looking for a regular teaching slot for that vital post-course teaching experience (especially in Melbourne), it can be a very different story. There are simply more newly qualified yoga teachers coming out of courses than there are teaching spaces available, so even the best of new teachers can get into that paradox of no experience/references blocking them from getting permanent slots in good yoga studios.
That’s where our Mentorship Programme gives teachers a boost in the right direction. With a bit of hard work, they’ve soon accumulated months of yoga class experience—plus the bonus of observing several other teachers at work, quizzing them about their sequences and cues, and assisting and demonstrating to get over the nerves of being new to the job. The interactions between teacher and mentee really help both to evolve and, along with our other training and social events, it creates a really great learning exchange and deeper community within our studio.
The Community Class Experience
To help them out further, we’ve launched a Community Class offering to bring our mentees the opportunity of getting actual teaching experience. These classes will be by donation, with proceeds going to a local charity (currently it’s Koala Kids Foundation), so it also gives us a chance to give back to the community and offer accessible classes for anyone that needs them locally. Our mentees get to build their confidence in a live class situation, and understand all the things that happen there that nobody on the student side tends to notice. They’ll get valuable feedback from our teaches and their fellow mentees, and of course the kind and gentle encouragement of our students (hint, hint!) as they grow.
Come and join us there at 4.30pm on Wednesdays and support our mentees on their yoga journey. In getting to know our Rebel Monk ways, mentees also become ideal candidates for covering classes and becoming regular teachers when people move on. Don’t be surprised to see a few well-known lurkers and smilers stepping onto the main stage in the months to come.
Giving And Receiving
Our mentees put in a lot of effort, so please flash them a smile next time they help you out. Most yoga teachers are in it for the community and the opportunity to help others, and we’re always eager to talk yoga. You can let them know what’s going on for you in practice, ask questions about classes or events, or anything else about yoga that has you puzzled or confused. You might get different insights and opinions from different teachers, so if a question’s worth asking then it’s worth asking more than once.
And if you’re a newly-qualified yoga teacher looking for this kind of experience to help you out, get in touch to find out more about joining our merry band of mentees. We ask for the same kind of dedication and customer service that our regular teachers give, and in return we offer so much more than regular “karma yoga” setups that many places adopt.
But don’t take our word for it, here are some comments from our current participants:
“Rebel Monk’s mentorship program has allowed me to deepen my understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in offering yoga to others. I have so much gratitude to the team for providing a safe space for me to observe and experiment with different approaches. It’s so good to be inspired by such a strong and fun team!”
“I have formed such a great relationship with my mentor Nick, he has challenged and help me grow exponentially as a teacher. Having someone to bounce ideas, concepts and methods off has been invaluable in the development of my understanding and teaching style.”
“The mentorship programme has been a great way to stay connected with my yoga community whilst learning from different styles of teaching and to interact in an open and productive way. I like that it encourages and promotes open communication between teachers with the priority being able to offer students in the class the most beneficial experience from their yoga practice.”
“Being on Rebel Monk’s mentorship program has exposed me to a level of variation in teaching method that I wouldn’t have discovered without the leadership of this journey. Having access to practice with, listen to and quiz the teachers at this studio has progressively enriched my yogic understanding, not only as a teacher but in my own practice too.”