by Abby Tucker
A lot of my students and peers have been asking:
What IS Progressive Teaching and why does it make you a better teacher, empower your students and build a strong community of committed and consistent students?
The answer is really pretty simple.
Progressive teaching connects one class to another while reinforcing what’s been learned and expanding it into more. Along the way, students become fully engaged in the process of learning, deepening, growing in their practices while developing bonds with each other. Progressive teaching is sequencing not just over the course of a class, but over the course of a week, a month, a year, 5 years.
Progressive teaching weaves a thread of connection from class-to-class in a way that students can’t wait to find out what’s happening next.
You may have heard of or even become a devoted listener of the surprise runaway success podcast Serial. Over the course of 12 weeks, journalist Sarah Koenig methodically and charismatically follows a single story. Each week is built on the next and there’s really no way to just drop-in. Listeners filled the social media-sphere with conversations, thought about it, tried to solve the mystery at home, and couldn’t wait until the next episode came out a long week later often gathering together with friends to do so.
Compare that, to say, a sitcom on TV. You can sit down, turn it on having never seen it before, watch it, laughing and thoroughly enjoying it, but an hour later, you’ve forgotten it and only occasionally remember to tune in next week.
Though it’s not exactly the same, by teaching yoga in a methodic and serial story format, your students are more likely to return week to week and to see their practice progress empowering them and exciting them to learn and practice more.
Students who are new to your class immediately sense that something is happening in these classes and your students become a magnet attracting more.