gym bagWhat if you could get inside the minds of your students? It”™s common to hear compliments from your regulars about what you are doing well, but what about the students who come once and decide never to return?  Last week, we explored the importance of preparation, which opened up a great discussion about our responsibilities and how much is too much to expect of the instructor.  This week, we'll examine a different type of rider and a different type of issue.

Imagine that you are unpacking your gym bag after class.  There is a note sitting on top. It says…

Dear Cycle Instructor,

Hi. My name is Emily.  I came to your class last week - the one where you played that great Rihanna remix and had us do those really hard intervals.  My legs are still shaky that class was so hard! I'd never done any kind of cycling before.  It was cool.  I loved your music and I thought class was fun.  But, I dunno, I just really felt left out of the whole thing.  Do I have to come more times before I feel like I belong?  I guess I was sitting kind of towards the back, but that was because I didn't want anyone to watch me make a fool of myself.  Was I so far in the corner you couldn't see me or something?  You gave shout outs to everybody in the front row.   They are probably your friends.  Plus, you didn't even know my name, so I guess you couldn't.  At one point you came over and gave a high-five to that kind-of  heavy lady.  She was doing a good job - it was cool that you cheered her on.  I think that would have been great to get a high five from you.  I mean, you are really motivating and everyone likes your class.  I can see why they do. You are intimidating, but in a good way, especially when you said you were watching the athletes to be sure they don't cheat.  I'm no athlete, that's for sure.  Maybe that is why you skipped over me?  I promise I was doing the best I could.  I just really had no idea what I was doing.

So, I'm not sure whether or not I will come back.  I'll probably give it another try, because it was fun.  If I do, though, it would be so great if you could, you know, say hello or something. I mean, not anything huge or anything. You don't even have to like be my friend or whatever, I mean obviously we aren't friends yet, but just, I guess a little acknowledgement would be good.  Just a "hey" or whatever.  I guess what I am asking is, could you please help me feel welcome?

Thanks for considering,

Invisible Emily

How would you respond to Emily? What advice do you have for this instructor?

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