Teachers Learn Too
Teachers Learn Too
by Kennedy Fitzgibbon
3 things the Karate Kubs have taught me, proving that teachers learn too!
1. Have a plan- but don’t get too attached to it.
Yes, you want to go in with a plan but you don’t want to go in expecting class to lay out just so.If something isn’t working, change it. If something else is working REALLY well, use it and build on it to accomplish your goals for that class. Have a goal, but be flexible and open to new ideas. Kids reactions to my class activities is usually where I get ideas for future classes. You can even use an unruly child’s misbehavior and turn it into a fun and productive game, and it usually end up working really well and the kids love it!
Teachers, learn from your mistakes!
2. Reinforce Positive Behavior
These kids are all about having fun, and doing what they want to when they want. Its just a part of the age. They don’t have a complex understanding of how their actions and decisions will affect results of a situation, and cause consequences or rewards long term. They base their decisions on the moment to moment thought of do I want to do this, or would I rather go do something else? If you want your students to listen, you’ve got to get them to decide they WANT to listen. The first steps In order for this to happen are that they need to like you, and be engaged in what you are presenting to them. Instant rewards for positive behavior, and not including those who weren’t listening and paying attention in the rewards , reinforces the idea that they if they listen they will get to have more fun. Soon they begin to connect that misbehaving does not give them the instant reward they want, and they start to want to listen in order to be a part of the fun next time.
Teachers, learn from your successes!
3. Monkey See Monkey Do
These kids are ready to copy anything that looks cool or fun! That means they copy lots of things (good or bad) from their friends, siblings, parents, classmates, and also me as their instructor. When we are in class I have moved toward a lot more copying and modeling teaching strategies, because I have found if I try to keep them engaged in verbal instructions for more than a few seconds at a time I lose their attention pretty quickly. Whether they don’t understand, or just get bored- it simply doesn’t work. We use observational learning in class while we play games like Black Belt Says and follow the leader to learn, and my assistant instructor and I always demonstrate any obstacle race, new skill, or game before having the kids try it out. All of the students seem to respond very well to this way of learning, and it has helped us to move forward much faster as a class.