Editor: Caroline Trudeau
Reading Time: 3 minutes
A Learning Journey
I’ve always been motivated by learning…
Declared Majors: Accounting, Biology, Dietetics, Home Economics
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Education (Virginia Tech)
Career Path: Public School Teaching
False Starts: Alternative Education, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Curriculum Development
Degree: Master of Arts in Educational Technology Leadership (George Washington University)
Career Change: Small Business Owner, JOURNEYoga to facilitate teaching more yoga
One Hit Wonder: Medicine and Health Sciences in Integrative Medicine
Degree: Master of Science in Integrative Medicine (George Washington University)
Learning Leads to Teaching…
Clearly I love to learn. And through this learning journey, I also learned that I LOVE to teach: as a teenager, I taught as a summer camp counselor; I taught for eleven years in the public schools and I’ve been teaching yoga for sixteen years and counting. I dance on the line between teaching and learning as they fuel each other and my soul!
I reminisce: In college I waited tables at a fancy-schmancy yet fun restaurant and I’d play a game with my customers. I always won. Every time. The game usually went like this…
Customer: “OH! You are a student! What are you studying?”
Me: “Yeah.” Giggle. “I’ll pay your bill if you can guess my major. I’ll even give you three guesses.”
Customer: Super excited at not paying their bill.. “Theater!”
Me: “Not even close.”
Customer: “Marketing and Sales!”
Me: “That’s all you’ve got?”
Customer: “Exercise science? Agriculture?” (I was in Kentucky)
Me: “Home Economics Education”
Me: “Yep! I always win this game!”
This conversation happened so many times, even back then, I knew there was something to learn from it. As a server, I realized quickly that by educating my customers about the quality of the food, it’s preparation and about the best of the best from behind the bar, I could increase the overall bill. Teaching became my thing and being an entertainer and good at sales enabled me to excel at my craft. As a teacher, keeping students engaged with the content and active in their own minds often requires making the content entertaining. For example, Home Economics is lifestyle-based and people often need to be sold on why they should adopt the new information (e.g. eat vegetables). Effective education is just entertaining sales techniques. Lesson learned.
…and Teaching to Learning…
Teaching Home Economics to kids was fun, but I figured it out and found myself desperately craving an intellectual challenge. Applying what I learned and teaching yoga to adults became that challenge. So many people teach kids, offering them new ideas, inspiring them to live in a new way; very few people offer adults that same opportunity. Teaching yoga is a perfect platform for adult education!
And again, I figured out teaching yoga and again craved intellectual challenge. Cycle much? Integrative Medicine. Returning to learning gave me more material for my show… I mean more content to teach. Personally, I found myself saying, “I can’t unlearn this. I have to make a change.” I feel better physically and mentally than ever. This learning fueled my desire to teach others.
Should education be persuasive? How do you allow facts to influence you? When is truth subjective? Part of why I love teaching adults is the adult brain’s ability to place information contextually. Scaffolding says you take information and place it on existing information and experiences. Adults, having lived and learned, have a strong structure from which to grow! Facts are all subjective to the adult brain and individual life experience will always be a part of new learning. The question is, are you open to both accept or reject new information based on what you already know? Can I entertain you with new information about how to optimize your physical and mental health? Nothing would bring me more joy than being your teacher!
…and to Dharma
I could dive into the world of sales and succeed or find other careers people would perceive as successful. Dharma is often described as your life’s purpose. Not your career. Not your hobby. At the heart of dharma is the idea that dharma is that which supports you. I live my dharma. It supports who I am from within. I teach.
“It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma, but competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.” – The Bhagavad Gita translated by Eknath Easwaran.
Contact Sarah Lynn: firstname.lastname@example.org