What happened yesterday morning?
I teach spin on Monday mornings. For the past 1 1/2 months, I've been informally extending class to an hour (instead of 45 minutes, though I cue people who have to leave after 45 on when to start cooling down, stretch, etc.). Why?
It was something that I did when I taught in SF. They couldn't formally extend it to an hour, but another instructor and I did it, and it was all fine and dandy with my supervisor. So, when I asked about extending class officially here in Santa Rosa, I was met with a "well, we can't officially right now, but let's talk about it down the road." Okay.
(On a side note, I like an hour-long class because I believe it allows for proper warm up and cool down on TOP of a nice 45 minute-long intense workout session)
I took a poll with my class, both as a group and on an individual basis and people were unanimously fine with it. So I did it.
Cut to Monday. Supervisor shows up to class. Dumb me is all like "oh, HI!!" and didn't even stop to THINK this might be really BAD to continue with my plan to make class an hour. Yeah, I know, dumb ME! HELLO SARAH, MC FLY, WAKE UP, ANYBODY HOME?
No. Apparently not.
SO anyway, basically I got called out for doing this because "the people who have to leave after 45 minutes don't get proper cool down and stretching cues, and that's not fair to them." (Even though they are all regular spin people and know how to do this.) Sigh.
But I am going to fight for this. I emailed a few of my students and asked their opinions about the length of class and said that if they REALLY cared about this, I will advocate for it and do my best to see if we can officially change it.
And you know what? I got some emails yesterday and today that REALLY brightened my day. I feel so motivated to get out there and DO this and MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Two of my favorite snippets:
"Let me know what I/we can do. I/We LOVE your class and we'll take all the Sarah we can get!"
"I'm one of your "older" students on Monday. Not only are you a terrific teacher, you have inspired me to work harder, achieve more, and LOVE spin. We've had quite a variety of teachers since spin began at the Y. You rate as one of the top teachers."
Wow. That really brought a smile to my face! I teach spinning precisely for this very reason - to get people to work harder and know that they CAN enjoy it. Those words were so completely gratifying to me and I couldn't help but have my spirits lifted and feel more confident in my desire to push this issue.
And I think it's a great reminder to all of us what the power of some kind words can do for somebody's day. I know that's corny, but it's TRUE! So go out and make somebody's day!