How to create respect in your Dojo

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by falcon, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    I have been teaching tkd for about a year and half and one thing that I have always struggled with is respect, I mostly teach kids and the often want to talk during class constantly or just go into their own little world and stop listening when I'm talking to them. I understand there kids, but i would like to see them show more respect to the instructors, I've talked about it in class and I will also pull individual kids aside, when the act up to talk to them and let them know what we expect from them, I get a sturn voice when they are getting really bad but I dont want to be to harsh on them, so how do i get them to show more respect without getting to harsh, or do I just need to be that way more often?
     
  2. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Not for martial arts, but in general with kids; have clear rules and consequences. Explicitly say what respect means, and the behavioral ways that they can show it. And follow through with the consequences. The leniency comes from what the rules are (kids can get distracted, as long as they pay attention when I state "Everyone has to pay attention now", versus kids can never get distracted), rather than choosing when to enforce the rules (Allowing everyone to good around most days, and then every once in a while, with no explanation, be strict about making sure everyone is listening and doing what they're supposed to).
     
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  3. now disabled

    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    That a difficult one indeed

    I guess it depends on ages etc and to some extent why they are there, I mean are they there because they want to be or cause mum and dad want them to be!?!

    All I can think of is make it interesting as in short lessons not long drawn out things, apart from that it a difficult one, I have only ever taught my kids and that different as well I had advantage of being Dad lol and could pull rank lol
     
  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    This. Have rules. Be consistent in sticking to them. Make no rules you won't bother to enforce, and be clear on the consequences. If you make the rules right, you can be very strict in enforcing them, because there won't be any you don't really care about. And if you are the CI, make sure the rules fit you. If you have other instructors teaching, they need to enforce in a similar manner.
     
  5. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Some great answers already. I'd also add work on your voice projection and authority in your voice. So you don't necessarily have to be harsh as such, but learning to speak with confidence and authority (not so much in a self-elevating way, but in a way that lets them know you're running the class). Rules are important for sure, and explaining how "we need to make sure we're listening so that we can learn better, and also to show respect for everyone in the dojo/dojang".

    I struggled a bit when I started assisting in the kid's classes, but I learned as I went, and the kids really respond to a strong, confident voice. I was too polite to begin with, you don't have to be so polite! ;) I don't mean be mean, but just speaking with certainty, guidance and more directness is important. It comes moreso from a confidence within yourself though, and not through faking it or pretending.
     
  6. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Question: Does your TKD Gym also teach any Japanese Arts?
     
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  7. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I would add that people behave by habit more than carrot and stick. You already have a set pattern, it's not going to be easy to change. It's much easier to set expectations in the beginning and maintain them.
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. At this point, the OP probably has to settle for slow, gradual change.

    To the OP: Based on your description of the situation, you need to identify what the rules have actually been (rather than what you told them they were - what were you actually enforcing?). Once you've identified that, tighten up around those rules. If there are places you've been almost consistent, get more consistent. If there are places you've been badly inconsistent, make a decision on them and move toward consistency. Expect this to take time. Don't suddenly become more strict, because that'll confuse kids more than anything else. For the most part, simply start stating the rules as you've actually been enforcing them. So, if the stated rule was "don't talk when I'm talking", but you've only ever enforced it when you were talking to the individual, start stating it that way: "When I'm talking to you - or to you as part of the group - stand quietly and listen." If the stated rule was "stay on your assigned task until I change it", but you've allowed them to change tasks after a while without asking permission, start giving them that permission about the time they've been changing (you can extend this later) and requiring them to stay on task until you give that. You might also set a timeframe (stay on this for 3 minutes), but this sometimes doesn't work with kids, as they might start watching the clock or asking how much longer.
     
  9. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    I don’t know the ages you’re teaching, but then again I don’t think it matters much if we’re talking principles. I teach 3, 4, and 5 year old physical education, here’s some of what I do, off the top of my head...

    Keep your expectations reasonable. Kids, and even adults, are going to talk and laugh at times. No one should be expected to be absolutely silent the whole time. Let kids be kids.

    Know what to ignore and what to address. That kid of goes with the previous part. If you’re telling them to stop every little thing, it loses its effect. You’re just that guy making noise after a while.

    Keep them busy. Idle time is when most issues arise. It’s had to talk and/or distract someone when their hands and feet are going and they’re focusing on doing something.

    Keep proximity to kids who are known to distract others. The further away you are from them, it’s like the more they think they can get away with.

    Raising your voice/stern voice has its time and place, but be selective with it. Like the above, the more you do it, the more the norm it becomes and eventually loses its effect.

    Make sure there’s enough positive feedback and praise. If the kids don’t hear they’re doing things right, they think nothing is going to be good enough, so why bother.

    Set clear boundaries and expectations, and be consistent in enforcing them. But keep them appropriate and realistic. Don’t ever threaten something you don’t intend or aren’t allowed to follow through on. Once you state a consequence, you’ve got to follow through, otherwise you lose all credibility. Keep the consequences realistic.

    Give warnings, but very few. If the consequence for talking out of turn is 10 push-ups, for example, don’t warn them 10 times. One or two warnings is sufficient before you enforce it. But again, be realistic in your expectations and consequences.

    The ages and any known issues will determine your expectations. You can’t expect a kid or bunch of kids with adhd to be 100% focused and on task 100% of the time. More kids have issues than parents will admit to, to you and often enough to themselves.

    I’ve worked with people that have expectations that are just way too unrealistic. I worked with a guy who just couldn’t get past the concept that 4 year olds couldn’t always run on the perimeter line without occasionally cutting across the gym, passing other students, cutting the corners, etc. He’d start yelling and having them sit out. He’d have them keep doing running until they did it right. When he won, what did he really win? All he did was spend half the class trying to get them to do something that was meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Another guy couldn’t handle 5 year olds not doing sit-ups and push-ups properly. He went through the same frustrations.

    If kids are spending more time being punished or told what not to do than actually doing what they’re their for, chances are pretty high you’re expecting too much. That’s not always the case, and there’s typically more of that when the group is a new group, but after a short period of time, they should be under control.

    Sometimes it’s a “classroom management” issue. Other times, it’s simply a lesson planning issue. Sometimes, but rarely, it’s just a bad mix of personalities in a class and nothing’s going to work. It’s rare, but it happens. Just don’t let that be an excuse.

    Respect isn’t demanded, it’s commanded. Respect isn’t given, it’s earned. Even if kids have no idea what any of those words mean, they certainly know it inside and out.
     
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  10. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Ooh, tactful :D
     
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  11. Kababayan

    Kababayan Blue Belt

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    As a dojo owner, teaching kids will pay your rent. It is so important to do it well. What JR 137 said about praise is right on. Give a lot of it. Plus, build a good relationship with each student. Having a great relationship makes classroom management much easier. Also, make sure that class is fun for them. I always had a rule of doing something different every fifteen minutes. If you do the same thing for a long period of time, the kids may get bored. I also made sure that I ended class with something fun. Kids will always remember the last thing that you did. Usually a parent will always ask their son or daughter "how was class?" If the last thing they did was fun, that is the response they tend to give. Good luck. As the dojo owner (I'm presuming that you are) props to you for teaching the kids classes yourself. I always did. Many dojo owners pass the kids off to an assistant instructor. Assistants don't always have the same vested interests as the dojo owners do and parents aren't always happy when they are paying you, but your 18 year old green belt is the one teaching the kids class.
     
  12. paitingman

    paitingman Purple Belt

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    What everyone said.

    Clear rules.
    Consistency.
    General, not individual, callouts.
    Make kids want to follow these rules by rewarding them and also getting them to understand the good in them as best you can. Why behaving this way is better than the alternative and set a goal and paint of picture of the kind of martial arts student and person they want to be.

    I also almost exclusively would follow the "sandwich" method unless I really had to have a serious talk with someone and be harsher than normal.
     
  13. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Use feedback to get the kids to pay attention. For example, when you have everyone take a sparring stance and kiyhap, those who aren't paying attention will get shocked back into attention by the kiyhaps.
     
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  14. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    As others have said, I find problems arise when they are standing around. So I try not to have downtime, but to keep them moving.

    For the kids classes I also try to have some sort of contest every class: e.g., running jumping sidekick with the successful (reusable) board breakers on one side, and the unsuccessful ones on the other side. And of course, I announce and congratulate the winner.
     
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  15. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

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    I'll add the caveat that my tkd instruction style is the same as my parenting style...I let the other person do the tough stuff, while I only do the fun stuff :)
     
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  16. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    No one should be having there greenbelt teach a Kids class it should always be a blackbelt that teaches every class, in my opinion, they can assist you but they shouldnt teach it. thanks for the help everyone
     
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  17. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    no why do you ask
     
  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That depends what's being done in the class. I wouldn't hand a complete class over to a green belt, but I'd be okay with letting them handle entire segments of it. Mind you, if someone has a green belt from me, they've probably been training with me 3-4 years.
     
  19. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    Depends on the green belt. Age, previous experience in another art, perhaps if they’re a school teacher or PE teacher, stuff like that. But stereotypically, most green belts shouldn’t be running their own class solo.

    As for kids’ class, depends on the age. I could’ve run a 4 and 5 year old class at green belt if I wanted to. I have previous experience and I’m a PE teacher. Their curriculum isn’t exactly rocket science. I teach ages 3-5 PE currently. No way I want to teach them in the dojo too. I go there to get away from it all, not add to it :)
     
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  20. falcon

    falcon Orange Belt

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    If they have been training for 3-4 years then I would say that is fine.123
     

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