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ATCQA Survey Results: Have You Restarted In-person Classes?

August 27, 2020 - From late July to mid-August, we asked Tai Chi/Qigong instructors to fill out our online survey about if/how they were re-opening their in-person classes. Here are the results.

Since the beginning of the Pandemic lockdown, have you restarted your in-person classes?

Reasons for your restarting the in-person classes? (please check all that apply)

If you have restarted your in-person classes, what is the scope of your current classes?

About wearing face coverings for the classes

When being asked if they require face coverings for their classes, 22.6% said they required the coverings before, during and after the classes, until the students leave the facility, 9.4% required before and after classes, but not during them, and 15.1% have no requirement but recommendation.

For those who do not require face coverings, the most common reason being cited is that their classes are outdoor with ample space available.

There are clearly different opinions about face coverings among the instructors who responded to your survey. We selected a few of them to publish here and they represent the diversity of the opinions:

Sandy Brewer Phillips:

Most participants carry masks for before and after sessions. We do have to remind some to maintain space, but by and large, and since we are outdoors, it works. US Customs and Border Protection and the local police have observed, but have not commented or otherwise intervened. In our styles of Tai Ji or Qigong, there is no need to touch or for close quarters.

Dave Crocker:

A small price to pay for the additional protection it appears to offer. With so many asymptomatic cases, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Clyde Beury:

Difficult for students to hear me teaching

William McCabe:

Masks have not been an issue with our students.

HungSheng Tsao:

Very difficult to wear face covering during exercise.

Franklin E. Lewis:

Different people are different. Some have no trouble with a mask during class; others can't breathe while doing forms. I always wear a mask as an example.  We carefully maintain 'social distancing.'

Ann Sullo:

It takes getting used to, I've adjusted some of the movements regarding breathing and keep reminding everyone to feel free to take a break if needed.


Not good idea...restricts air flow!

Are you doing anything different in your classes compared to the time before the pandemic started?

Here are some of the responses we received for this question:

Larry Braniff:

Slightly different. I have a very difficult time not going up to students to correct them. Must keep the proper distance. Also, no tuishou or martial explanations with partner.

Diane Ryan:

Temperatures are mandatory when walking in the building. A short health questionnaire is on our timeclock. Students workout in 6-10 feet squares that are taped on the floor suitable distanced apart. Chairs and all equipment is disinfected before and after the class.

Susan F Cooper:

The one facility that has opened has a room with a mirror on one wall so we all face the mirror the whole class, as opposed to me facing the group. Works well.

Linda Felicio:

Washing hands before and after class, no serving of tea.

Franklin E. Lewis:

I keep the classroom door open and fans running for air circulation in the training hall.

An anonymous teacher:

Wearing gloves if I need to touch students.

Christine T. Morgan:

We do them outside with orange traffic cones

Another anonymous teacher:

More focus on immune enhancing qigong

Carol Willis-Holden:

Social distancing, so smaller classes.

Thomas L fletcher:

Enjoying outer awareness and inner serenity

Martha Thomas:

No more sign in sheets and ensure people adhere to social distancing.

Fred Villines:

Hand cleaner and wipes available to clean any equipment (chairs or balancing tools)

An anonymous teacher:

make direction of movement one way, no 'equipment'

William McCabe:

Face shields are an option.  Some of our students use them.

What questions and/or suggestions do you have for your peer instructors about handling the re-opened in-person classes?

We selected some responses showing different opinions:

Walter Barnett:

Proceed with gusto and rebuild immune systems.

Johanna Hattendorf:

Talk to your students.  Ask them what would help them feel safe, and what they would like.  Some of my students opted to stay on-line.  Some were eager for personal interaction and were excited to train outside.

Sifu Gene Nelson:

Don't do it.  This is not exercise class.   Hands on is essential.  Best thing you can do for your students is for YOU to train HARD so you will have more experiential stuff to pass along. 

Wayne Jupiter:

You have to find a way to get your classes going again. Some of my students have said they just couldn't practice while cooped up at home all the time. Some even said they were getting depressed. To get the health benefits of Tai Chi you must keep up practice and remember the principles of Tai Chi.

Clyde Beury:

Have students who are enthusiastic about returning to class speak with students who may be reluctant to return.

Marjie Croston:

Make sure you have adequate space. Don’t underestimate the space you will need and outdoors if at all /or whenever possible and have plenty of hand sanitizer. Be prepared for older students to have heat related problems due to the masks, so have water and seats available.  And whatever you do, stay positive!

Gene Golden:

Follow your feelings. I, personally, have no fear of the corona virus.

Alex Kiesel:

Follow your state guidelines and you should be good to go. Also offer them outside when possible.

Julie Barker:

Write up a document that explains the new way of doing things prior to the classes starting and email to everyone. We have been talking to our students throughout lockdown, on a weekly basis if they don't attend classes on zoom. Keeping them reassured and up to date.

Michael Celeste:

Keep an online option available for students as some will still be uncomfortable returning to class in-person.

Sandy Brewer Phillips:

Whether or not your area believes in and supports the protocols, err on the side of caution.  And avoid any discussion of political status concerning the standards.

An anonymous teacher:

Student concerns are real, and providing counseling has increased; working on providing words of wisdom and comfort. Being creative in explaining a concept/theory/muscle contractions has been entertaining due to students will still try to cheat...




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