Questions about Being Tea Teacher Training

Hello there! These are the questions I receive the most frequently about joining Being Tea Teacher Training. If you don’t see your question here, or you’d like to connect personally about how this program might be a good fit for your goals, reach out to me below!

Questions about the program content

Q: “Will this program teach me about tea?”

A: No, this program focuses entirely on teaching tea – from the role of an educator – and not learning about tea ourselves as students. Here’s why… (read more)

Our personal knowledge about tea is what we draw from as we create lesson plans, or consider how we interact with students in the classroom, etc in this program. We’re taking what we already know and channeling it into our educational creative space. So it’s crucial that this comes from personal experience, of some years.

While I’m definitely flexible about what sort of qualifications would prepare someone for this type of work (see more below for qualification questions), any applicant does need a strong background in tea knowledge in order to participate.

Q: “I work with herbal teas and botanicals. Does this program talk about health benefits of tea?”

A: This program is grounded in working with traditional tea from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, and not other botanicals, herbal teas or health teas… (read more)

Uniquely, this program focuses on our sensory, physical, emotional and cultural interaction with tea – much like a physical yoga practice, in this way. So this is a space very much devoted to teaching tea, as it’s a whole world in itself!

I am definitely open to considering applicants who are not 100% tea focused (for example, a certified Ayurveda practitioner), if they have a strong background in tea – in addition to their botanical study qualifications – to draw upon in their tea work.

On a personal note, I’m not a clinical healthcare practitioner or clinical tea researcher, so I do not teach content around the health benefits of tea. I will share that, at least in the US where I’m based, there’s an over-saturation of this type of content and tea products in the marketplace. This program, and the Being Tea space itself, was created as a balance to share tea as an embodied practice, cultural and spiritual exploration.

Q: “I want to teach tea meditation or tea ceremony. Will I learn about that in this program?”

A: While I do teach tea meditation myself (it’s more than half of my work), this program is not focused on teaching tea in a specific format – such as meditation or ceremony. (read more)

Being Tea Teacher Training is for learning the roots of how / why we teach tea in an embodied, psychologically-sensitive way, and then connecting with our own creativity, personal and professional experience to bring that to life. So you absolutely could feel more comfortable leading tea meditation or ceremony after this training, but only if you had already studied those areas deeply yourself as a student.

When it comes to meditation work, my suggestion would be to have a strong, regular personal practice, in whatever you want to teach. If you do not have a regular meditation practice yourself right now, find a group or tradition you connect with and get started. One, this is the well you draw from as a teacher, and you need a deep well for this type of work. And two, when it comes to working with people on a mental, emotional and spiritual level – which is a vulnerable and sensitive space – it would be irresponsible to jump in without personal experience.

On the question of learning tea ceremony: I also do not teach this in the program. While I have studied chanoyu (Japanese tea ceremony) in the Urasenke tradition, I am not a certified teacher. I would suggest enrolling in a program of the tradition that you wish to learn, as a student. It takes a substantial number of years to earn the qualification of a teacher in that school, so just know that in advance. It’s truly a path of dedication for that one tradition.

Questions about scheduling and time

Q: “How are classes scheduled? I don’t see program dates listed.”

A: Small group cohorts are formed in the Autumn (Sept / Oct) of each year… (read more)

The schedule for how your cohort will meet is agreed upon collaboratively, based on the needs of the incoming group. Each cohort is 6-8 people. As an incoming trainee, you have an important say in how the classes are scheduled. You will not be scheduled in a cohort that meets outside of your stated availability.

Note that I am located in Chicago, and our most popularly requested times are mornings, 9am-1pm CST, but it does vary based on group request.

Q: “How much time commitment is involved?”

A: This program is designed for working individuals who need a slower pace. (read more)

The classroom portion, which happens with your small group cohort live on Zoom, is 4 hours each month, consisting of two 2-hour sessions. These happen on the same day / time each month. You also have four hours of video lectures to view on your own each month. In addition, there are other Zoom classroom-based learning opportunities, such as attending practice classes given by your fellow trainees, held throughout the year (which are highly encouraged but optional).

There is some light writing homework, reflective journaling, and lesson plan development with each monthly module, and this will likely take a couple hours at most. I also do not grade homework – it’s all truly for your own benefit and learning reflection – and students have one month to complete assignments.

Questions about qualification

Q: “What can I do with this certification? What kind of job can I get?”

A: Being Tea Teacher Training isn’t actually a certification program. (read more)

It’s a professional and personal skills development program. This means the outcome is highly specific to what YOU want to do in tea.

Being an educator in tea is rarely a full-time posted job offered by a company – and even then, it’s not something one commonly receives training in how to do effectively. I’ve been a trainer and teacher in tea for nearly 20 years, employed by companies in this capacity and also working on my own, so trust me on this one! You really create your own way.

Tea education most commonly is something that you pursue to enhance your current work or to support the new career path you are growing into.

Q: “Do I need to be a tea professional to join?”

A: No, you actually don’t need to have any sort of titled job already to participate. (read more)

A: No, you actually don’t need to have any sort of titled job already to participate. But here’s the requirement I do look for: You need to have some dedicated years of hands-on tea study already, prior to joining teacher training. This means you have a depth of knowledge and personal experience with tea, which is crucial as this is what you draw from as a teacher. This experience can come from many places, including:

– Working for a tea company.
– Being a small tea business owner and proprietor.
– Working for a tea shop/coffee roaster that sells and serves tea.
– Formal academic study of tea.
– Tea sommelier or other tea expertise certification.
– Being an experienced tea blogger.
– Other unique life experience, such as coming from a tea producing family, that would expose you to the wider world, culture and commerce of tea.

Q: “Do I need to work in the tea industry specifically to benefit from this program?”

A: Actually, no! And here’s why. (read more)

This is a common misunderstanding, as so many certification training programs are geared toward industry workers. Our program has attracted a wonderfully diverse and intersectional cohort of teachers: Small business start-up, current and former tea company employees, tea sommelier graduates, yoga / bodyworkers and mindfulness teachers, writers and bloggers.

Quite a few of our trainees are also professionals in transition, moving from one area of their work life into something new and unknown.

Additionally, if you work in another industry where you are likely to intersect with tea, such as specialty coffee, meditation / mindfulness therapy, Ayurveda, TCM or other CAM (complementary and alternative medicine), this could be an excellent program for you to grow your confidence as an educator in your main practice, while also learning to incorporate tea education.

It could also be a really supportive fit for folks with social / community interests, such as recovery and outreach programs, youth education, cultural centers. I strongly encourage folks from diverse backgrounds and professions to apply because the whole community benefits from different perspectives with tea.

Basically, if you have a strong tea background – which doesn’t mean you’re an “expert,” it just means you know quite a lot and are committed to learning more – and you have a passion for education and bringing people together around tea, this program can benefit you.

Q: “I’m really new to tea and just starting my tea business. Can Being Tea teacher training help me?”

A: If you’re just starting your study with tea, this would likely not be the best fit for you just yet. (read more)

This program focuses on the craft of teaching, and you can’t teach what you don’t know from a certain depth of experience. We don’t study about tea here, but rather how to teach tea. But I can definitely offer support for your tea education as you start your business.

My membership program is a great fit for folks at this stage. This education program consists of self-guided classes, both live and recorded, in a wide range of topics in tea. There are over 150 courses in the program, with new ones added every month.

And you’re in very company here, too: We have quite a few small business owners in our member community, as well as other tea professionals and enthusiasts alike. Having an outlet to grow and strengthen your tea foundation is essential. Especially when first starting a new business, as so much of the business side of things can really eat up all your space for your own learning.

I should also share, more than 90% of our teacher trainees actually come to the program based on their experience as a member of Being Tea, too. So it’s a great program for supporting your own education as well as for getting a deeper sense for the style of teaching you would learn as a teacher trainee.

Got other questions not answered here? Reach out to me for more details about the program!