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Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy: Thoughts from a Second Year Yoga in the Schools Teacher

Written by Lori Schulte Trenkamp, Yoga in the Schools Instructor

Two teens journaling

"It was a reminder that when something is easier, it doesn’t always mean it’s easy. It was also a reminder that stress will always exist." - Lori Schulte Trenkamp

As I prepared to embark on my second year of teaching Yoga in the Schools, I thought a lot about how much easier this year would be and how ready I was to jump back into teaching.

However, I may have been looking slightly more towards the brighter side than the realistic side.

As a first year teacher I had all kinds of worries, but these were some of the most predominate:

  • Would I be good at this job?

  • Would the kids enjoy my days with them?

  • Would I be able to adequately represent this amazing organization?

Throughout the year, however, I learned ways to work through these thoughts and emotions.

I learned to utilize the mantra, “I can adapt” and figured out how to let go of some old control freak habits to be more flexible with the flow of schools.

I developed a thick skin as I walked into different middle schools and learned to relish when a kid told me how much they loved yoga days.

That reminder helped me prepare for the next morning walk through middle school halls as I heard “Ugh! Yoga day? No way!” from middle schoolers trying to fit in with their friends.

I learned that middle school is VERY different from high school- eighth graders and freshmen are completely different beings!

I left the school year knowing that I had learned many things not only about teaching, but also about myself as a person.

Mindfulness quote

As I approached my second year of teaching Yoga in the schools, I thought, “I’ve got it all figured out. This year is going to be so stress-free and easy,” and “I’ll get to see a lot of these same kids. They know me- it’ll be like a little reunion! I am matched with many of the same schools, so everything should be the same, right!?” Ha!

A handful did act like this and were happy to see me, but many acted as if they’ve never laid eyes on me- likely because they’re too cool to act excited to see any adult. It was a reminder that when something is easier, it doesn’t always mean it’s easy.

It was also a reminder that stress will always exist.

A lot of this stress comes from change. Many schools have a totally different schedule, new teachers, a new outlook on how classes should run, and more changes to adapt to.

Not to say change is bad- only that it comes with a new set of stress.

With that change was the realization that I have also changed…and my self talk changed with it.

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I began to remind myself that:

  • I am different.

  • I have a different outlook and attitude than last year.

  • I am even more passionate about our mission than I was last year.

  • I am determined to reach even more kids this year.

  • I have new ideas for managing behavior and getting kids engaged.

  • I am more confident with the lessons we teach.

  • I am putting even more energy into this job than I did last year.

  • I am a life-long learner and constantly changing.

We all are, really, even if we’re not trying. And now the kids I had last year have to adapt to the new me right along with me adapting to the new them.

As I work through my second year of teaching, I will remember no year is easy and every year will be different. However, like all aspects of my life, I will always change and become better, continuing to grow alongside my teachers and students.


Lori Schulte Trenkamp

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