Sorry to hear that. Don't let anyone steal your joy, whether it be with hooping or anything else!
I've had some classes where people just did their own thing, or didn't listen to my corrections. My goal with the class was not for it to be "perfect" but for everyone to have fun.
Keep teaching. Please don't give up.
I agree with Sarah, don't let this get you down.
I've had this happen in a class or two with "pockets" of people, but when the whole class is going in that direction? Ugh. That's difficult. But it seems you "read" your students and gave them some time to explore on their own, and that's great! Maybe it's what they needed and were indirectly signaling that to you? Perhaps letting go of what a class looks like is a good idea once in awhile (I speak in terms of pondering this myself, too...wondering if less structure is okay sometimes) I wonder if it's also possible to ask them in the next class what they'd like to get out of class and then teach to that? Change the direction of your class for them. Again, if it's one or two people, just do your thing and move on, but if this is the vibe of the whole class...give them what they need to keep the fun in hooping for them! Perhaps at some point, they'll be willing to work on different points.
Just some thoughts...hang in there! Keep hooping, and keep teaching!! Passing the hoop love on is so rewarding. You will come through this!
I think you've got it backwards, ;). One of the nicest compliments your students can pay you is to show up even when they don't feel like learning anything new or even hooping. That's a sign of a good instructor.
Learn to read your class. I've put on music and let people go off on their own and mentioned to those who want to learn a new trick to step forward or go off to the corner where we can work separately.
I always thank those who looked tired, or are distracted and don't want new stuff, for simply showing up. I always tell them that it's the nicest compliment they can possibly pay me.
I can assure you that no matter what you teach, periodically the class will not go off as you'd hoped.... You did the right thing by giving them the reins and letting go. It might be good to look at your material... So you can tweak your stuff. I generally keep about half my attention on what I'm talking about right now, a quarter on where I'm going and a quarter on the class itself. I mainly just try to see the tenor of the class as I go along... It helps when you go back, you can answer questions like, "Where did I start to lose them?.. What was the mood when they came in.. what was my energy like?" How good a job was I doing explaining things?...." etc....
Never feel bad about scrapping your lesson plan when things go wrong and shooting from the hip. That's good teaching!... So, well done!
Sometimes it works well to cut people free into jam mode, and then go around and talk to each student individually about something that they are particularly interested in. Sometimes the rest of the class will get interested in it... next thing you know, the whole class is back on a heading again... maybe not the one you originally intended, but since they aren't kids being flogged into the fcat, it hardly matters, eh? they're having fun and learning... victory!
You poor thing! I am so sorry that you were feeling so down after your class! I know the feeling. Sometimes you can just feel really bummed for whatever reason, I have totally been there! It sounds to me like you are doing great, and you have really inspired your class to hoop! I haven't had time to read the other responses so this might have already been said before, but definitely keep your chin up. Try and think about the GOOD classes, and in all truth your bad class was probably perfectly fine to your students.
I have been teaching for about a year and have stopped trying to follow any sort of lesson plan. I think I adopted this approach after a similar experience! In my classes I have every level from beginning to advanced and generally let everyone work on whatever they want. After warm up I make my way around the class and help people individually, but we mostly just jam.
But... I have to say it again... I have definitely had times where I've felt like you were feeling. To teach a class you really sort of put yourself out there and it is so easy to start feeling self conscious. I can really struggle with it myself. Please just know that you aren't alone. Sometimes knowing that can make it feel better :)
Be Happy! They are finding their flow and groove thanks to you. Consider it the ultimate compliment! It's what we strive for as hoopers and it's really difficult to explain what flow and bliss are like (you know it when you feel it and they are starting to feel it). It's the reason we are all so addicted to hooping. Your class has been going on for quite some time now and your students are finding the safe place where they can express themselves and start to take their hooping to the next level of personal movement. Be in the moment sweetie - let it happen organically. Your class loves you!
Call me when you're back in town and I'll give you some pointers for how I work with kids. It's similar to what you are starting to experience in your class. Actually call me anytime you hit a bump!
Peace my hoop friend!