Every night growing up, I sat at the dinner table and listened to my parents talk about school. They were teachers in the same district, at different schools, teaching different subjects. I memorized the names of colleagues and was always intrigued by the stories about their students. They taught high school, so I was entranced by the mere mention of older kids. Those nightly tales were imprinted in my mind with such strength that years later, I was able to compile a guest list for a surprise party I hosted for them based almost solely on my memory of names I’d heard over the years.

In my late teens, however, I grew weary of listening to the minutia or saga of the moment at their respective campuses, even to the point that I claimed, “I’ll never become a teacher!” I absolutely did not want to become a teacher, and despite the fact that I was never pushed to do so, I felt the need to express this certainty with them.

Fast forward about 25 years…I am a teacher! I may not teach in the traditional sense, in a school, at a chalkboard, but I am most definitely a teacher and I would not change a thing!

After over 20 years of being a movement/wellness/fitness instructor, I believe it has always been at my core. The desire to share and help others learn is as much a part of me as are my brown eyes and crazy curly hair. I realize now, with delight and a serious sense of connection to my parents and their immense talents, that when I step into a yoga class or private Pilates session, that this is beyond special. I have been incredibly lucky to be enveloped at such a young age by service driven parents. They’ve reached hundreds of people in their vast teaching careers, and have, as I’ve witnessed, changed lives. No matter how long it’s been since their collective retirement, former students are encountered and express great gratitude.

I only hope that my daughter senses this drive and urgency to teach and give to others in her own way. I wish for her to turn the pages of history and feel thankful to have grown up in a household that celebrates movement and physical knowledge and creativity. I pray that it becomes second nature for her to share what she has learned, continuing the lineage of teachers.

Categories: Wellness

Amanda Jane Avis

Amanda Jane Avis began her exploration of movement as a child. Her very early dance training sparked an intense curiosity of anatomy and physiology, which led her to study the amazing human body after receiving her B.A. in dance from UCLA in 1996. She invites people of all disciplines and levels of athleticism to explore Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yoga, Raising the Barre, and dance. Amanda Jane is currently seeing clients online and in person.


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