instructors/owners do your students

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by tshadowchaser, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    This one is for instructors/ school owners.

    If you have students who show up early or stay late to do extra things around the school: clean up, sweep or mop floors, etc., and they do it all the time not to be a “kiss up” but because they feel they want to.

    Do you reward them in any way. Perhaps show them a form you have not done in a long time, or something else? At what point if you give them something for their efforts do you give it to them? After a month of their efforts, a year, never?

    Do you think students should volunteer to do these extra things.

    Do you demand they do because then they are not doing it because they want to but because you expect them to.

    What things have students done for you that you did not expect
     
  2. Grenadier

    Grenadier Administrator Staff Member

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    Once in a while, we do have some people who take the initiative. They might help vacuum up the place, or to pick up some things that the staff may have missed, such as empty water bottles, etc.

    These people want to do what they can to help out the dojo, and it's always appreciated.

    Not due to this. However, such people are almost always self-motivated, and progress at a faster rate than the average student. As a result, they're going to be learning more material, and at a sooner time.


    No, since it's more of my own duty (and the dojo owner's, and the other staff members) to keep the place in good shape. If I neglected those duties, and relied on students to do so, I would feel rather irresponsible.

    Nevertheless, help is always appreciated.
     
  3. mib2112

    mib2112 Yellow Belt

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    Normally at my school, even before I became an assistant instructor, I came in early, or stayed behind late to help sweep, mop, put equipment away, etc.

    Paying my money to train at the school is paying for my instructors time. Bowing to my instructor and my fellow students was showing them respect. Helping to clean the Kwoon when I didn't have to was showing respect to the training space.
     
  4. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    That reminds me of a funny story...

    The other day, Sensei told us to go get a bo and get back on the floor. It took us quite awhile; we were dwaddling, as he put it. We had a discussion about that. Went kind of like this...

    Sensei: When I say 'get a bo', I expect to see a few people head into the back room quickly and start tossing bo's out onto the floor very quickly! Why?

    Student: Because we are moving too slowly?

    Sensei: Because there's not enough room in the back for everyone! Now, why do *I* not have a bo?

    Student: Because no one brought you one?

    Sensei: Right! Now, why should YOU bring ME a bo?

    Student: To show respect?

    Sensei: NO! It's because there is not enough room back there! I don't think I'm deserving of subservient behavior; but when I say 'get a bo and get back out here', I want you to do it very very quickly and I want someone to bring me a bo so that we can make the best use of the training time we have available! Unless you prefer to do pushups.

    We got it. Until the next time...hehehehe. We do tend to dwaddle. Sensei hates that.
     
  5. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    I find it interesting that not many instructors/owners have said anything here. I wonder why
     
  6. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Yes, but to be fair this is part of the social compact in my dojo. I charge $25 a month, which is really only a token fee. Meanwhile we have the wooden floor which needs regular maintenance to stay nice and clean, and we have numerous training tools and weapons which all need to be cleaned regularly and polished. I have my senior students take charge of this necessary aspect to keeping the dojo functional.

    I give free private or semi-private classes to any serious student already, along with hosting a yearly gasshaku.

    See above.

    I have various gifts of kindness given to me like prepared food or gardening produce, massages, football tickets. I've even had my car washed a couple of times unasked. Each time, I've been very gratified regardless of the value of the gift because it comes unsolicited and from the heart.
     
  7. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Most commercial schools I know of use a cleaning service.
     
  8. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    I am fortunate in there are several members of each class who are early and/or late birds. They are (for the most part) the same persons who are in early and stay late training. They work form, bag work, strength, conditioning, or help lower levels besides helping clean up. They are the first to sign up for extra classes, workshops, or seminars and their rewards from me; a thank you, a bit of extra time and effort on my part toward their training and answering their questions.

    Should they volunteer? Only if they want to. I have never requested or required anyone to help out. I teach leadership and the leaders simply do and it is they who press the others to help out but I never do.

    Besides the usual clean up of the training center they have helped paint, pressure wash the front of the building, Pulled all mats out of the mat room-wash them and reinstall them, started a Little Dragons class and volunteered to instruct it on their on time just to give back to the school and help it grow. Volunteer to mentor new members during their first 6 months of training.
     
  9. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Purple Belt

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    I don't have a school. We usually train out of doors. Not really any cleaning up to be done. I have, however, had a student give me an unsolicited gift. He came back from the Philippines with some kamagong (hardwood) sticks and gave me my pick of the litter. Really appreciated that.
     
  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    My answers are reflected in my post on the thread about students doing things...

    I expect students to show up, and to be ready. Depending on where they are in their training, they may help teach new students. I expect them to help when we run special events, or to help clean up before or after class as needed. That's part of being in the class... It was for me, it is for them...

    I'm available for training outside the normal schedule, by appointment, at reasonable times. I don't hold anything back and I routinely tailor each student's training to their needs, abilities, and interests.
     
  11. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Personally I don't consider it a student's responsibility to maintain the training space. In the Judo dojo, which is a room rented from a local swimming pool/rec center, we pick the tatami up after class but that's more out of necessity than anything else, plus we're all friends outside of class and it gives us a chance to stand around and BS for a bit.

    That said, when I train somewhere it's considered a responsibility of students I understand it and do my part. It's not something that really bothers me either way but as an instructor I personally wouldn't ask it if at all avoidable.
     
  12. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    I give all my students the same while I love the help, it doesnt warrant any special treatment IMO.
    I dont believe that anyone should feel obligated to help out as it is not there business they are there to learn from me and I am there to teach.
    I honestly dont believe anyone has the right to demand that out of there students
    I have had students help me set up, and also donate equipment for the school
     
  13. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    In the traditional japanese dojo I grew up in, sōji, or ritual cleaning, was simply part of the class-the part that came after the closing bow.Judo or karate, no one was compelled to do it, but the ones that didn't clearly didn't get "it", and were treated like they didn't-not mistreated, neglected or taught less-they just learned less, and mostly didn't stick around.

    We do the same in my dojo. No one is told to clean up afterwards; it's just what we all do. Either someone gets it or they don't......
     
  14. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    The only things I can get my students to do is help with picking up the mats. My Wife and I do the rest.
     
  15. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    One of our students has a cleaning service and so I believe her services are traded for free or discounted tuition. I'm not entirely sure though. Afterall I don't handle the billing.

    The longer people have been around the more likely they seem to want to pitch in and help. It's not expected or required. It just sort of happens.
     
  16. bushidomartialarts

    bushidomartialarts Senior Master

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    When I ran my school, I didn't do any formal rewards...I never thought of it that way, but I think it would have cheapened the student's efforts. A sincere "thank you" at the time, and in most cases that meant the student was still around before or after the other students had left. If s/he ever wanted to talk or review, I'd be available.
     
  17. ETinCYQX

    ETinCYQX Master Black Belt

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    Like I was saying earlier, my Judo is ten times better from standing around chatting with my Sensei and helping clean up. Just the little observations one makes over years in martial arts make all the difference. Even things like footwork habits, grip preferences, which foot he picks, etc. A personal, tailored gameplan is a beautiful thing.
     
  18. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    From a student's POV, Myself along with 2 other practitioners are there an hour early each class, we get our stretching out of the way for the most part while we wait for our Instructor to arrive. We then have a chat before class about a range of topics, sometimes techniques, sometimes small chat, then we have what we like to call our private class after the actual class finishes. When we bow out and everyone else gets changed and leaves the 3 of us are invariably the ones who stay back and actually chat with the instructor. In that time, we get into the history, the various stories he has collected, ask for personalised advise on certain techs/postures etc, talk about the type of material we are likely to cover in the next few classes, talk about threads on here, astronomy, psychology - you name it, we cover it. We don't stay because we feel obligated to. I'm fairly confident he doesn't stay because he feels obligated to. There have been occassions where he's said "Go home" (always with a laugh after looking at the clock) but we get the philosophical/historical lessons that the ones who leave straight away miss out on and it really is the second half of our training (at least that's how we see it). No other special rewards needed, we get knowledge and understanding, what more can a student ask for?
     
  19. Josh Oakley

    Josh Oakley Senior Master

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    Never gave special rewards to students who helped clean. More to the point, I never encouraged people to help clean, and I in fact discouraged it. My system charged in the upper ranges, so I viewed my cleaning the dojo as part of my service to my students.

    Now, there were students who volunteered their time promoting the dojo and helping bring in new students. I did on occasion teach extra lessons for those students, because it was a significant time commitment for them.

    And I offered extra advice for those who came into the dojo and trained more. I felt that those putting in the extra effort into their training should be supported in their efforts.
     
  20. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    See the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.123
     

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