The Alexander Technique in the classroom
The Alexander Technique is not only of enormous benefit to musicians, dancers and sportspeople but it can also improve the working lives of people employed in other sectors. School teachers, in particular, can reap significant rewards – both for themselves and for their students – by practising the Alexander Technique in the classroom.
What happens when teachers use the BodyMinded Alexander Technique?
The way in which teachers conduct and hold themselves in the classroom has a major influence on learners. If teachers are tense, stressed, suffering from back pain or headaches, or simply overtired, pupils pick up on this negative energy immediately.
Teachers can start applying the Alexander Technique by noticing when they are feeling at their worst. A common trigger for teacher tension is that of excessive noise levels in the classroom. Rather than raising their own voices to demand silence, many teachers find they can regain control of the class (and of themselves) far more effectively by simply stopping.
Simply stopping means not talking, keeping movements minimal and sitting or standing in the same place. In this state, teachers can consciously let go of any build-up of tension and allow their minds to become fully alert. From this mini moment of mindfulness teachers can apply their BodyMinded principles. From here, they can calmly assess the situation and decide on a course of action.
Flow on benefits to students
Many young learners experience tension in the shoulders and neck from doing board work and book work. Teachers who have studied the principles of the Alexander Technique can gently remind their students about balance, poise and upright easy posture. This helps guide them into a more natural posture. Children are very receptive to a gentle, non-intrusive instruction and experience has shown that many will spontaneously adopt the techniques to make sure they are in a dynamic and relaxed position throughout the day. It is actually the natural way we are built – we are built to move dynamically and children know this! You have seen how elegant toddlers are exploring the world… as teachers we can help our students retain their natural poise.
The Alexander Technique is itself a pedagogy.
Its use in the classroom is consistent with modern educational aims of mindful learning. Teachers who use the Alexander Technique in the classroom improve their own health and well-being as well as that of their students. An added bonus is that learning becomes more effortless.
If you’re a teacher, you can learn how to apply the BoyMinded approach to yourself and then model it for your students in your classroom?