teaching

Discussion in 'Karate' started by shoto_tiger_girl, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. shoto_tiger_girl

    shoto_tiger_girl Yellow Belt

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    So I have a question maybe a sensei school owner can weigh in on. I decided as part of the warm up to do meditation with the kids they loved it. They were more relaxed and focused. Well after that my sensei gave me the cold shoulder. I couldn't figure out why. After that because we had one kid who was being very arrogant and disrespectful. Sensei decides to strip us all of our belts for a month to learn humility. So then when I came in to teach 1st class she cold shouldered me and wouldn't let me teach class with one of the others who Co teaches with me. I found out later sensei was mad at me for teaching meditation to the kids. Sensei apparently gets mad if you teach anything different. When sensei's son teaches self defense he adds some gracie jujitsu. I wasn't being disrespectful at all. I was trying to get the kids calmer. They loved it. Sensei teaches them close to the same thing. sensei said I need to be more confident with teaching but how can I when sensei gets upset at anything I teach. I'm staying within the style. Am I missing something?? I just want to be a good teacher.
     
  2. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Admittedly, we are only hearing one side, but from what I can tell you didn't do anything wrong. Have you talked directly to your Sensei about this, apologized, and asked why it was inappropriate to teach meditation?
     
  3. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    I think Sensei means you need to be more confident, but to be so when teaching the approved curriculum. That is, stuff Sensei allows you to teach. I think you should have asked Sensei if you could teach them meditation.

    If you thought that you could teach something because Sensei taught them something close to it, you'd be placing yourself at the same level as (or close to) Sensei. I don't think that would be wise.

    Even if someone at your level taught meditation, you would have been wise to run it by Sensei.

    Edit: if your Sensei is bad, then by all means leave as hoshin1600 recommends. But even under a good Sensei (especially?) I'd run it by Sensei first.
     
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  4. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I hate to say this but after having read quite a few of your posts, I would walk away from that school and teacher so fast it would make her head spin and I wouldn't look back. I would advise you to do the same. It's the same as when you've been in a bad and abusive relationship for a long time , you don't know what a good one looks or feels like.
     
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  5. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    You sound like a great Jr. instructor... Why are you putting up with this crap? There are probably other schools in your area that would love to have you. Motivated instructors are a valuable asset... Your sensei needs a kick in the butt.
     
  6. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I think the problem here lies in that your sensei hasn't discussed with you what to teach and how. For as long as you are left to guess what is appropriate, the problem will continue. Confront this head on with your instructor, and ask for some guidance. If she is not able or ready to provide that, then you should maybe think about declining to teach, or leaving.

    As it is, your sensei doesn't sound like much of a people person. Maybe she's in the wrong line of work.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
     
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  7. shoto_tiger_girl

    shoto_tiger_girl Yellow Belt

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    Thank you all for the weigh in :) for the ones of you who saw my other posts i have been seriously thinking about leaving for awhile. It is like being in a bad relationship. I keep thinking about the kids. What about the kids? They have been looking up to me and ive seen the results of it :) i was out for surgery about a month and they were asking for me. They were happy when i came back. I never had an issue at my other 2 schools. The one school i started teaching at he was ok with whatever i taught. i know every school and sensei is different. I know she has also pushed out really good instructors. we had since ive been there like 5 students quit and 1 blackbelt instructor leave. Yes i have also thought about backing off and not teach for awhile. Im just more hurt because l feel like ive busted my butt trying to be a good karateka and i helped take care of the school while she was away for a month visiting family. Id leave work and rush to get to the school to open and clean the school. i did it because the school means alot to me. I didnt realize i was straying from the curriculm. There is no reason to cold shoulder a jr. insructor and not tell them what theyve done wrong. Then strip all of our belts because of one student. Then make us feel like crap in front of parents. Only because one student was the problem. I plan on talking with sensei in class tomorrow. im at the end of my rope. i leave the school more stressed then when i got there. Like i said in my area there is only one other shotokan school and hes open 1 night a week. And hes contemplating on closing. Not enough students. so it makes it hard. There is a kenpo school. Which i thought about. Im friends with that sensei. I know hes really exspensive. I dont have alot of money. Thats why ive stayed at my school right now. At this point im kinda stuck. Im close to my black belt. so i thought about sticking it out until then. Im thinking of doing bjj one night a week too. I could slowly transition into that too. Thank you for the guidance everyone i so need it right now getting lost on this journey is not fun and it makes me question who i am as a martial artest.
     
  8. shoto_tiger_girl

    shoto_tiger_girl Yellow Belt

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    thank you for the kind words :) you have been awesome through all of the struggling I'm going through with this journey. Thank you :)
     
  9. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    "What about the children if I leave?" that's the rub isn't it, where they have us. It's not unique to martial arts, I've seen Girl Guide leaders say the same thing when they are unhappy for various reasons and want to leave but fear units will close if they leave so stay on, hating it and struggling. They think the girls don't know but of course they do.
    The truth is that the children will be fine, they will miss you of course but they will be fine. They aren't stupid and will have picked up tensions from you and the other adults, they know things aren't right, leaving will teach them that it's okay to stand up for themselves, that you don't have to let people walk all over you. What will be good for the children is you doing what is good for you.
    Life is far too short to be unhappy and 'sticking it out' even close to your black belt, it's only a belt after all is said and done, you've worked hard so far you can again but this time with a lighter heart and real meaning to you.
     
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  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you leave and join a different school, some of those kids just might follow you there.

    You have to do what is right for you, you have to take care of yourself. Nobody will do that for you, and that is exactly what everyone else is doing.
     
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  11. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    Yep. It sounds like you should leave this school. Before you do so, stay stealthy and get everyone's (or enough people's) contact information. Then when you get settled at a new place, let them know where you've gone, and maybe they'll follow.
     
  12. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Question: You mentioned you have taught at 2 other schools, what is the reaason you left those schools?

    As for the way your instructor handled your teaching meditation, it seemed a little extreem to say you lose your rank for a month, and should have had an explanation given as to why this was being done.

    In truth without hearing the instructors side of this it looks like the instructor jsut is afraid of anyone doing anything they have not thought of trying first
     
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  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Of course, we're only hearing your side of the story, but if the facts are as you present them then I would say the head instructor is severely lacking in maturity and hardly acting as a good role model for the students.

    • If she has a specific format for teaching class that she wants you to strictly adhere to, then she should spell that out for you in advance.
    • If she was upset with you for teaching something she didn't want you to, then she should have taken you aside immediately after the fact and calmly explained how she wanted you to do things in the future. Giving you the cold shoulder and not explaining why is high-schooler behavior, not something that should be expected from a teacher in her 60s.
    • Unless she is paying you for your services as a assistant instructor, then she should be regularly expressing gratitude for your help, not getting mad at you.
    • Taking away everyone's belts because of the behavior of one student? That's just asinine and petty.
    Bottom line, unless this teacher is giving you incredible instruction that you can't find matched anywhere else I wouldn't even consider putting up with this sort of behavior.
     
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  14. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Grandmaster

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    Don't do this... This is about the worst thing you can do. This is how you burn bridges and risk lawsuits.

    We, as martial arts instructors, often make claims that martial arts makes you a better person, builds character, etc. How can a person make that claim while stealing from a company we work for? And yes, stealing contact lists is still stealing and I'd consider it highly unethical.

    Now if you move and people track you down and follow you that's one thing. But with all the "McDojo" talk that goes around about unethical business practices in martial arts schools... don't add to that. We should always be trying to elevate our industry, not drag it down. There is never a shortage of potential students to the point where we should start trying to steal clients from another business.
     
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  15. mograph

    mograph Master Black Belt

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    I understand, but I'm not suggesting that one steal a contact list, and I understand how it looked like that. Instead, I'm saying that you should tell the students that you will be available and that anyone who is interested in following you should give you their contact information.

    (My position comes from an awareness of exploitative clubs that treat volunteer instructors very badly, threatening to take away their students if they don't toe some capricious line. Also, it comes from an awareness of students who quit the art when their favorite teacher leaves without leaving contact information with a student or two. I believe those students need the freedom to make a choice between the old club and a new club.)

    A better course of action would be to let one student know you are available, and to give your contact info to that student so interested students can contact you.

    I apologize for making the first suggestion, and thanks, Andrew, for calling me on it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  16. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i also dont think it is a good idea to get a contact list, at least not in this situation. first off, i believe we are talking about a kids class so it would be up to the parents on where the child studies. while the OP may be an assistant instructor where she is at. the reality is that she wont be an instructor if she goes somewhere else. there is no point in having the contact list. the OP also stated that there are not that many options in the area, if thats true, than if the parents are looking for somewhere else to go than it wouldnt be hard to find her.
     
  17. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i will also say Tez is right. by staying, what you are really teaching by example is that it is ok to be bullied by someone of authority. that abusive behavoir is ok and that maybe we all deserve to be treated badly, its our fault.

    this really bothers me because this is the same behavioral pattern that allows physical and sexual abuse to happen and that is exactly what we are supposed to be helping to prevent.
     
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  18. twendkata71

    twendkata71 Black Belt

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    If I had a jr. instructor that taught something I had a problem with, I would pull them aside after class and discuss it with them. I would give my reasons why. You can't develop instructors by treating them poorly.
    Taking their rank away to make a point is a bad lesson and humiliates the student instead of inspiring them to do better. That is poor teaching. Setting a bad example for others.
    On the other side of this. It is always best to run new things you want to teach by your sensei before you do it in the class. Perhaps your sensei felt that you were not respecting her by teaching something without letting her know before you did it.
     
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  19. ShawnP

    ShawnP Blue Belt

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    i really feel for you Shoto_tiger_girl, i have had a similar scenario happen to me as well, except in the system i was training there was no other school to go to, after all the crap i was put through, things that were said to me, the accusations and the humiliation, in front of a room full of students i broke down and begged in tears to stay. i would try to talk it out with your Sensei and get everything out in the open to find out exactly what was really going on. You have to understand that even though your instructor holds a title and a rank that does not exclude them from being human, and having human emotions such as jealousy. try to stick it out and see if you can get that BB rank, then you can move out on your own with knowing you did everything you possibly could.
    i also had the same thought go through my head when my instructor announced he was closing the school "What about all the kids?"
    have you thought about opening your own school after you get that rank?
    i did just that, i had spent a good 10 or 12 years in that system thanks to the politics and red tape and still have not reached a BB rank, i made it to a teachable rank which was 1/2 way to brown, and met a very young woman near where i lived who was teaching American Kempo and i made a deal with her to go 1/2 on the dojo and we split the week up where she wold have it one night and i the next. it worked out great for a while but the politics and red tape soon caught back up with me and i again decided to take a break. unfortunately most of the kids stopped training and moved onto something new, i promoted my highest ranking student and passed the reigns onto him. Last i heard he was teaching out of the Knights of Columbus that was right next door to our old school and was doing quite well.
    so maybe check around your area, go to the YMCA, Knights of Columbus, or some places like that and see if they are willing to rent by the night. from the sounds of what you said your obviously good with children and that is a major + to teaching, i think you would probably make a great Sensei yourself and your probably ready for the next step in your training. be confident in yourself and you can achieve anything.
     
  20. Kenpoguy123

    Kenpoguy123 Purple Belt

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    That's the worst thing an instructor who thinks you have to treat them like gods and worship everything and do it exactly as they do. Well that's not martial arts martial arts is about evloloution. Some instructors are just to far up their own backsides and think they can control things you do even outside the school. I know of one instructor who texted one of his adult junior instructors to meet him for a drink and he never turned up he just did it to test how loyal they were....like come on what the hell Is that about. Ill respect my instructor during class I'll listen be respectful yes sir no sir all that but outside the club they're nothing but a person I won't call any instructor sir outside of a formal session I won't do exactly as I'm told by them outside the club. I'm my own person not their puppet. That's one of the reasons I'm getting more and more frustrated with traditional martial arts. Them always patting themself on the back123
     

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