Guide to Conduct Lessons via Internet for Certified Instructors with Dr Lam’s Online Lessons
(updated April 24, 2020)
NB: You can screen share Dr Lam’s online lessons with your remote learning participants. You can find instructions from individual platform. For example, with Zoom: click share screen; advanced;selected music or computer sound only then play the file.
This guide is designed for Tai Chi for Health Institute board certified instructors. A more effective way to teach tai chi remotely is to use your skill and Dr Lam’s together. It is like a virtual lesson being taught by both Dr Lam and you. This guide provides ideas how we can work together collaboratively. You will become more efficient the more you use it.
Teaching through video is challenging, what to say, what to show, how to show it, how many times, at what angle? How to improve the picture quality? All these have been researched by Dr Lam’s video team for over 20 years, all programs are produced for remote learning using the Stepwise Progressive Teaching Method. Teaching tai chi remotely can be more rewarding for both instructor and participants by our collaboration.
Importantly, your personal knowledge and experience are the best for your people, combining both would make learning and teaching easier and more effectively. People would benefit from your guidance, encouragement and feedback. Feel free to contact me through [email protected]
You can use platforms such as Youtube, What’s app, Facebook and Zoom to teach this way and keep connected to your participants. A good way is to plan a regular time to meet. It should be reasonable to charge for your time, be generous to the people in need.
- It is very important to focus more on the principles, Dan Tian breathing to cultivate Qi. Be mindful of being safe. Place less focus on movement accuracy.
- Work through the online lessons, as though you are a new participant. Think of what question and guidance you might need, then back to your instructor hat. Be sure to be familiar with the contents and every session, so that you can plan and guide your participant what to do and where to pause and come back to you.
- Ask participants to subscribe online lessons (OLL) of respective Tai Chi for Health program if possible, although you can use Share Screen for them. I am using Tai Chi for Arthritis as an example here; the principles of the guide can apply to all my programs.
- Have them learn how to access, play and navigate the OLL if they would like to subscribe, explain the advantages of being a subscriber.
- For the subscribers: It is important for your participants to know how to switch easily between showing you what they are doing, watch a specific part of my lessons (if you don’t use Share Screen with them) and looking at you for your instructions. If they have a internet connected TV or monitor, they can use that for online lessons while they use their computer to communicate with you. However, they can set up two windows, shrink them to icons; one to communicate with you and another with OLL. They should learn how to navigate the OLL, how to pause and start at a session prior to your lesson.
- Be mindful of your participant’s need and objective so you can guide them the appropriate pace and contents.
- Schedule a regular time to meet, once, twice or three times per week for half to one hour would work well.
- Introduce yourself like face to face lesson but spend more time to personalize as it is important to form a connection, introduce with simple information about who you are and what qualifies you to help the participants learn. Avoid showing off.
- Do the Tai Chi Greeting and acknowledge the group or individual, find out participants objectives, concerns and level of proficiency.
- Discuss what is appropriate to learn for each participant’s need.
- Discuss how to stay safe.
- Keep the group small enough so that you can communicate with each person comfortably.
- Once settle, the first thing is to ask participants to watch the Introduction. Alternatively you can screen share this part of OLL with your participants then they don’t have to purchase these. For their own home practice, it is an advantage to subscribed themselves (all titles are discounted by 35% during the time of Covid-19).
- Discuss if there are any thoughts or questions.
- Ask participants to watch or show them lesson 1 introduction, and then do the warmup exercises. Do emphasize staying safe.
- Ask for questions and concerns. Offer your answer the best way you can, if in doubt ask the participant to show you what is the area of concern.
- Have them follow the warmup exercises of OLL as they watch the online lesson, or just show you so that you can see how they do the warmup exercise. Give feedback and offer positive point and point of improvement if any. Be mindful of keeping them doing the exercise safely, eg not over stretching, and not looking for high level of achievement. They would get better with more practice.
- Continue lesson 1, stop at each session of the lesson to discuss any area of concern. After they did follow me. Ask if they can show you without watching the online lessons, if not go back to follow me three times again. Give encouragement and feedback and try to have the participant show you if they can do the form. Be sure their environment is safe to do so. Don’t insist that they do, if they cannot remember it is OK to give positive feedback first, follow by a point of improvement. Encourage them to keep practice following the lesson, and try to do it with memory before next lesson.
- Only give one point at one time, and remember, like face to face class, not many people can learn a movement to a high standard. As long as the shape is there and it is safe, you can move on. Just like face to face class.
- Do this with each session, it would be like you and me working together to teach the participants. I teach the forms and you guide and very importantly encouragement.
- Near the end of the session, do cool down and greeting, encourage more practice.
- Ask participant to mentally rehearse what we have learned so far (could be done seated of standing).
- Suggest what to learn for the next lesson, be flexible for participants of different levels. Ask them to work to wherever they are comfortable with. It is always better to do less than too much. It is better to divide one of my OLL into two or three sessions rather than do two lessons in one session.
- Greetings and warm hello and ask how participants are going since last lesson. What they have done, do they have any concerns and benefits. Do listen and answer.
- Encourage positive feedback, especially if they feel good about anything re tai chi.
- Work through with them using the similar method as last lesson, start with asking them to follow me with the run through what we learned last lesson. Then when they are ready ask they to run through to show you and then give feedback. If appropriate go back to part of the teaching of last lesson. Use all the training you learn from your instructors training,
- Discuss a few do and don’t on the above. Keep your discussion brief, one point at one time between each practice.
- Discuss the message at the end of lesson one, ask if there is question on it. If you like give your personal interpretation and why the message is important.
- When ready, go to lesson 2 with the same method.
- Assign next lesson for next meeting. Remember one should not do more than one lesson between each meeting, but it is OK to make one lesson go for several sessions. Eg slower is OK, avoid going too fast. Explain the tai chi philosophy or slower is quicker. Less is often more.
- Cool down exercises
- Sitting or standing and mentally rehearse what we have learned so far.
- Greeting, encourage practice. Encourage sharing positive experience.
- Suggest what to learn next lesson, be flexible for participants of different levels.
Lesson 3 onward
- Use similar format as above, remember less is more.
- Very important of being personal when you are not meeting face to face, avoid focus on yourself or how great you are. Be friendly, show how much you wish to help.
- Keep mindful of the staying safe, remember your instructor training.
- Keep to small group at one time and try to remember each participant.
- Remind people no one is perfect at tai chi, no one does it exactly the same, the most important thing is to understand and incorporate the principles of tai chi – they are part of my messages at the end of each lessons.
PS: This guide is a work in progress, please check back for updates, also feel free to give me your opinion via [email protected] as I will update them regularly.