Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Looks Like This Teaching Thing May Actually Happen

Went to taekwondo this morning and had a discussion with the teacher afterward that resulted in me doing two classes' worth of instructor training this afternoon.  (That is to say, I was not doing the teaching myself, but rather serving as a 'helper' to the instructor, the idea being that I learn the teaching ropes while doing so.)   As far as I can tell, their plan is to have me work with established instructors (black belts with a lot of experience) as often as possible over the summer, and then they will see what happens with the schedule in the fall.

Frankly, I'm much happier with this concept than I was with the initial idea that I be dropped into teaching the Friday class alone in the short term.  It's one thing to know how to do a technique, and another entirely to be able to break it down for somebody else, especially somebody else who learns things a different way than you do.  We joke in the morning class that there are some people who need to see something first a couple of times to get it right, others who learn by doing, and a third group who has to formally process and think through all the steps before being willing to try something.  I'm in category three, by the way.  And this is just adults...both classes I worked with tonight were entirely children, which adds yet another curveball to the mix.  You can't really tell a seven year-old to pivot on the ball of their front foot and make sure their center of gravity goes forward, after all, at least not if you want any response other than a blank look...for the kids there are all sorts of simplified explanations that involve turning ice cream cones upside down and answering telephones and such.  The motions end up being the same, but the way you explain things to kids versus adults is so entirely different that I need to watch and listen for a while before being let loose on a class on my own!  

That said, tonight went fine for a first effort with kids, especially since all three of my own kids were in the second class.  I reminded them on the way to the dojo that today was my first day and that they were NOT to embarrass me by acting up while I was in the room with them!  For the most part, they managed it, and the kids I ended up working with looked better afterward than beforehand, so I'll take it.  Small steps!


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