Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Teaching debut

Last week was my first lesson in charge of the little uns without back up. This in itself didn't worry me at all! I always have fun with the junior class and I try and instill in them broad principles of martial arts such as awareness, confidence, responsibility, as well as physical techniques.

I did find it a problem not having an assistant though. This meant that I had to spread across the entire range of abilities from absolute beginner to very competent and eager brown belts. Delegation helped and I managed through the lesson to get everybody involved but felt that the level may have been a tad simple for some of the older and more advanced children.

It's going to be a challenge to get their syllabus taught when I have to introduce base concepts to other younger members which is, very often, a time consuming exercise! The other children of course benefit from revising basic elements but I need to work carefully on my lesson plans!

Tips welcome!


Sue C said...

Martial Arts Mom in her post 'Got Teaching Tips?'(dated August 28th) got some interesting comments back about teaching kids from several karate instructors - might be worth reading if you haven't already. Good luck with it. I might be starting as an assistant instructor soon in the juniors class and that feels scary enough!

Unknown said...

As an "assistant instructor" myself, the hardest part with the kids is keeping them motivated! From what i've learned with the younger ones(4-6), i've needed to keep it fun. Technique yes but not break it down to a science. After they get it even somewhere close to being right, positive re-enforcement is needed(ex: high 5, "good job", etc.) Their attention span is short enough so keep it fun and positive and they will WANT to continue coming to class! Just my 2 cents....

Michele said...

You are describing the type of class I find most difficult.

When I am faced with a cross section of belt ranks, I work on basics but I have the older ranks explain, count, demostrate technique or application. This will deepen their understanding of the basics.

If I need to work more advanced material, I may have the younger ranks try to follow or sit out for a few minutes. Then I will work with the white belts and give the brown belts an "assignment".

Good luck and let us know how it is going!

Littlefair said...

Thanks Sue! I'll check it out...

Axe-thanks for your input. I think you're right in that I can't worry too much about technique when kids have a completely different mindset, desires and as you say attention span! I do like to keep it game oriented a lot but I need to teach the syllabus. I suppose as they get more mature we can look at the finer aspects.

Thanks Michele! I got them to make a circle last week and we had a sparring 'show' everyone sparred (individually) against me! They all seemed fairly happy with it and not bored! What a turn up!

Thanks everyone!