Advice for a New Alexander Technique Teacher

Brooke Lieb, ACAT ’89,


Remember to refer back to your student’s head/neck/back relationship frequently during the lesson. Help her understand that as she explores or attends to an activity, or observes more details about her specific habits, she can observe how this influences her head/neck/back. Conversely, as she returns to attend to her head/neck/back, she can observe how this influences the activity or pattern she was working with.

Take time. Give your student time. Repeat experiences and activities with your students so they have a chance to practice their thinking and AT skills in the activities. Sometimes, when a student is well organized, and things are going well, a newer teacher worries the student will get bored with the repetition of chair work, procedures or activities. (I rarely observe this concern about table work.) Remember how many times you have gone in and out or a chair, or explored monkey, lunge, HOBOC, or whispered ah. The more you explore, the more engaged you are. Don’t worry that your student will get bored. They are more often fully engaged and curious about applying their AT thinking to the activity. If your student does get bored, or distracted or can’t find novelty in the repetition, you will be able to tell by various cues. Trust the work and trust your observational skills.

Trust the principles. This work works. You have been well trained, and if you work to principle and observe how your student is at the end of the lesson, you will most often find they are calmer, expanded, more integrated, and satisfied. Do not underestimate the value to your student of spending time with you while you are attending to your own inhibition and direction, and creating a space and time where she can slow down, not have to accomplish anything, and be in your presence. After some lessons, your teaching space and your presence become a stimulus for slowing down, lengthening and widening. Lessons come to be associated with the positive experience of past lessons.


Joan Frost, ACAT, ’83,

Don't keep your student standing with your hands on while giving her/him a string of important directions to think.

Do your best to honor your time boundary needs.

Be aware of when you are soliciting feedback from your student for reassurance regarding your teaching vs. when your intention is to instruct or clarify.


Witold Fitz-Simon, ACAT ‘13,

Stay with yourself while you are teaching. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you remain free and expansive, engaged with your own process, and curious about your own use as you interact with your student, they will learn more from you than if you worry about teaching them something or changing something about them.

Teaching is a social interaction between two people. Connect with your student. They are living, breathing individuals with intelligence and feelings. Become comfortable with them and allow them to become comfortable with you. The more you can put them at ease, both with you and with themselves, the better they will be equipped to change their own habits.