As a fitness instructor I often have the opportunity to sub classes or teach to new students. Most of the time it is a wonderful experience. I love meeting new people, sharing my teaching style and watching how people change how they hold themselves because of words that I say.
Not to toot my own horn, but quite often, when I sub a class, the students come up to me and tell me how something I said really made an exercise click for them. They ask when and where else I teach. A few have even tried to get me to sneak in and take over the class I was just helping out with.
That's, you know, 99% of the time.
There is always a 1%, right?
Sometimes I teach a class and the students seem to hate it, but at the end they say they loved it, and I chalk their frowns and ignoring of my ever-so-witty Pilates humor up to them being overwhelmed with a new instructor. Then there are the students that I KNOW hate me. They are pissed that I am there to teach. They miss their regular instructor. Maybe. Or maybe they just don't like ME. I don't know what it is.
As a manager of a fitness studio, my answer is that we all have different preferences, and it's okay to like one instructor over the other. Go to whatever class works best for you. But as a human, I get my feelings hurt. I like knowing I am liked. And having people tell me how great I am? I am not going to lie, it feels great. I tend to be a person that needs pretty constant positive reinforcement. And, as someone that has trained for years in fitness and health, it lets me know that I am doing my job correctly when I get positive feedback. I also welcome constructive criticism and even negative feedback. But to just get a stony face and a subtle eye roll? That doesn't really help me know what I can do to change. I try not to let it bother me when I can tell a student just doesn't like me. And, okay, it doesn't ruin my day. But it does piss me off :)
I just happened to have a student like that today. I know this student isn't a fan of me. I don't know why, I think I have only ever taught a class with her in it once or twice. But whenever I see her my "kill-em-with-kindness" smile and attitude meets a brick wall. The studio is too hot, too cold, the floors too hard or too soft, the water is too wet and the air is too oxygen-y. The wanna-be psychologist in me knows that some people are just like this. Something else is going on with them and they need to have a little spot to assert some control. Or whatever.
So, anyway, as I was teaching today I was actually composing a rant/apology to this student in my head. Saying things about how I probably have more training and experience than any of her other instructors. How she needs to empty her cup so that it can be full. How it is good to branch out and try new things and maybe smile. But then, after class, her grumpiness faded (a bit) and I realized that maybe she just isn't that into me, and that is okay.
Anyone that knew me when I was single knows that I had a really hard time accepting that there were some guys that just didn't want to date me. Now, I guess I have a hard time accepting that not every student has to fall in love with my teaching. That maybe they aren't completely wowed by my imagery cues and attention to joint health. Maybe my loud voice annoys them. Whatever it is, it's okay.
So, I guess I did rant a little, but not as much as I had planned. I have my students that love me. My students that like me. And it's okay if there are others that just aren't that into me.
ps - I taught 6 classes today, so, for any of you that may think you know who I am talking about...don't be so sure.