Best practices for zoom classes & Workshops, & why you should care...
So you've finally signed up for that Zoom exercise class, but you're nervous, you're shy, you aren't even sure you want to be there, but on your own hasn't worked so here you are...and congrats! That's a huge step and I'm super proud of you! Hopefully I can give you some tips and pointers to make you feel a little more prepared, relaxed, and confident in your online interactions. Let's dig in!
Well. Here we are. September 2020, in the throes of pandemic and zooming more than ever, and let's be honest - Zoom classes, meetings, literally Zoom everything, isn't going away. We read those tutorials at the beginning of all this to try and do our best on these online platforms, but lately I've noticed a lot of confusion and disruption in my Zoom world. I thought I would give my two cents on how to operate in a respectful way, especially from the perspective from an instructor on Zoom.
To turn the Camera on, Or Not to Turn the Camera On?
There are plenty of reasons not to turn your camera on, and if that's what's gonna get you in the room, then by all means leave that camera off! However, I truly feel your goal should be to get comfortable enough with your online group to turn the camera on. These live online meeting spaces like Zoom are for connecting with each other, but there are still plenty of ways to connect without a live video feed of yourself going out there. If you can't or won't turn on that camera then try some of the following to connect with your teachers and fellow students:
BUT I'm really shy, Bret! I Don't want to talk to anyone!
Listen, I get it, I really do. But I am here to give you a different perspective today. As an instructor if I have someone come into class who isn't on camera, doesn't have a microphone on, and doesn't type anything in the chat - it's a little creepy. You may have no intention of creeping, but that unknown black square can become a black hole sucking in my attention and distracting me. I know, I know, you aren't hurting anyone so why am I being so dramatic?! Well, I have no idea who you are. Are you spying on someone in my class? Are you about to make an inappropriate comment or gesture? Probably not, but I *literally* have no idea because I've not gotten an iota of communication from you. Let's say that you aren't and I continue to teach class, but that everyone does the same thing and I'm teaching to a bunch of empty, soulless squares, as my qi drains into them. Lol, okay now I am being dramatic. But in all seriousness, that's exhausting to teachers. And not to be too unfair, but why are you here? Just go watch a Facebook live, or even a YouTube video because that's the level of engagement you want. And yet! Here you are! And I couldn't be more delighted. Honestly! And I totally respect if you can't/don't want to turn your camera on (unless you're my mom and then I don't care if your hair isn't done I just want to see your face <3). I totally respect that you can't/don't want to turn your mic on. But at least say hi in the chat. Let me know you aren't a creep, and I'm more than happy to teach and connect it whatever ways we can!
Okay, I get it now. But honestly, this zoom shit is confusing, where do we go from here? I don't even know what I want anymore!!!
I am so glad you asked this! Not only have I been teaching on Zoom, Facebook Live, IGTV, and YouTube - I've been taking classes on all those platforms too! And I have really become quite adept at figuring out what I want. Now, what I want is gonna be so different from what you want, but I am gonna outline some questions to ask yourself below to help you figure out what it is you actually want from this whole experience!
For real though, do not give up! Just because you don't connect to a teacher doesn't mean you can't connect online. They may just not be the right match for you. I say give every class at least 2 tries. If by the third you are dreading it, then move on this class aint for you. Don't judge yourself and say you failed. Just try something new! If ever there was a time to fail and try again - over and over and over and over - this is it!!!
I love helping people figure out what they want. If you're still confused or unsure, reach out to me directly and let me help you find a class for you!
Stay Healthy, Friends!
~The Red Raven
Bret Kyle Rogers, L.Ac.
Texas based acupuncturist, qigong teacher, and herbalist demystifying Chinese medicine. The author frequently links to Amazon.com for specific products. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and appreciate your business!