When I first started to teach my classes on Zoom, I wasn’t sure how effective it might be and how it would work. Then, these students totally surprised me with what is possible!
Even though we have advanced technology to stay in touch, teach and conduct many life events online, we are still far from being able to replicate the beautiful experience of a group class. While I very much miss the energising group classes in person, teaching on Zoom has brought other uplifting experiences into my life. For one thing, my friends, family and students from around the world are starting to join these classes and our community is growing!
My single biggest worry and apprehension has always been about whether this method of teaching would be effective. I’ve had to learn how to create additional learning resources and teaching processes to actually listen to the progress of students and make any corrections required. Surprisingly, a lot more work goes into online teaching compared to teaching a group in person!
Here’s our student Antonella Valentinetti (Switzerland), submitting her practice for feedback the very next day after we completed our Gaṇapati Atharvaśīrṣa course in July. I was absolutely stunned to listen to her recitation!
Listen here to Dorien Reyners’s (Belgium) recitation of the Gāyatrī mantra. The best words would fall short to describe her beautiful practice. Dorien studied the 6 weeks beginner’s program, all completely online.
These are only two examples, but in fact, I receive numerous student assignments for feedback and I’m always touched with the sincerity of the practice. All students receive a detailed report in return, with specific and accurate feedback to improve their practice. I find myself working with students to change or stop certain “habits” and have come to understand their individual practice quite well. This is all thanks to online and remote studies!
I take no credit at all for the success of these students. My role is simply being a resource. I provide easy access to the knowledge, teaching & technique. I’m obsessed with creating effective learning resources. But all of this is truly effective only when students possess the motivation and discipline to take on this practice and turn the challenges of remote learning into a positive experience.
As for me, I haven’t seen my own teacher for 8 months now, but the studying continues in full force.
Special thanks to Antonella & Dorien for permission to publish their recordings here.