The hardest 3 weeks of my TKD career

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by skribs, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Over the past 3 weeks, I have been in charge of my dojang. From what I understand, this is the first time my Master has been able to leave for an extended period of time without closing the school. Granted, we closed for a week in the middle and cancelled some of our specialty classes, but I was still in charge 5 hours a day, 4 days a week, for 2 weeks, in addition to my day job.

    I now have a much better appreciation for what my Master has to do in order to keep the classes flowing. I usually would lead maybe 5-10 minutes per class until he takes over, or I would lead 1 class here or there, but it is an entirely different animal to run 20+ classes for ~200 students every week.

    I would say the hardest challenge I had was the little kids (4-6 year old) white belts. Some of those kids are very shy and introverted, and want as little attention as possible. Other kids are NOT shy and are very undisciplined, and just want to run around, play, talk, and be the center of attention.

    Now, that in and of itself isn't what makes the class so difficult. If I had the shy kids, we could work with them 1-on-1 and the others would be fine waiting for their turn. Or if I had only the rambunctious crowd, I could do a lot of fast-paced high-energy drills that would keep them too busy to be distracted.

    The problem is that I have both groups in the same class. Trying to find a balance where it's not too fast for the shy kids or too slow for the high-energy kids was very difficult, and I didn't quite manage it every class.

    Overall, it was a very rewarding experience, but I'm glad it's over and I can go back to my normal level of responsibility. I don't think I could be in charge of a dojang this size AND have a day job. Some of my favorite highlights:
    1. Some of the drills I came up with (which I posted here) were very well received
    2. My last 2 days teaching, I told the classes that I don't normally teach "I won't be leading anymore" (they all complained), "but Master is coming back" (they all cheered). Some classes figured out the right reaction on their own, others had to be coached in what to say.
    3. My last class, I admitted I am relieved to go back to my normal level of responsibility. One guy said "so you couldn't hack it?" (Just giving me a hard time). I said "I proved I can, and I have nothing left to prove on the matter."
    4. I've had students and parents come to me and tell me I'm doing a great job leading, which was very encouraging.
    I'm glad to have done this. I'm also glad I don't have to do it again this week.
     
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  2. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Welcome to teaching :)

    What you’ll teach is the easy part. How you’ll teach it to everyone in the room at the same time is where it gets dicey. Attention spans, personalities, motivation levels, abilities, et al are all different for each individual. Reaching everyone and at the same time and getting them all on the same page and doing the same thing is what makes a teacher a teacher. All the planning in the world can go out the window in seconds.
     
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  3. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Yeah, I'm thinking about doing the Sith thing when I'm a Master. Rule of Two - one master, one apprentice. That's enough students to try and manage.
     
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  4. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    I hope you were fairly rewarded for all this effort and didn't fall for the " its all part of your development" con trick that I've had pulled on me in numerous " employment" situation till I got wise to it
     
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  5. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I didn’t know if I should’ve like or agreed that one. I know more than a few guys who’ve fallen for the whole “teaching is part of your learning” mumbo jumbo. A little bit, sure. But when part of your training is teaching classes for free (actually, you’re paying to do it) while “the master” is hanging out in the office watching porn on his computer, it’s not so great.
     
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  6. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Taught or my first shifu, he took the call, recommended me, I went to the person that contacted him. I did the advertising, I paid for the room (if necessary) and he took a percentage. After a couple months of this I realized I was teaching, 8 classes a week, for about $10. And that was the end of my teaching, outside of his school, for him. However teaching in his school, I still paid for classes, but at about 20% of the cost of everyone else....including his other teachers, and I had unlimited classes...unlike his other teachers.
     
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  7. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well yes clearly there are degrees of it. if teaching is one of your objectives, then there is benefit to you, if someone has pushed teaching into a higher belt and they will with hold it if you don't, then there's a level of "blackmail , involved, but hey if its onky a an hour week why not, if they are sick or member of their family is ok, its for the common good,if however they mog off to sunny climes for three weeks and they have left you babysitting and keeping the money rolling in with out reasonable payment then its exploitation, or at least an abuse of "authority"

    as I say I've had the jam tomorrow trick pulled on me many times, "here's a load more work/ responsibility, no I'm not paying you, its for your own good in the long run" type of thing, which just results in them getting richer / less stressed and me becoming more stressed with out due compensation
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  8. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Green Belt

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    Wow, I guess I was pretty lucky having the sensei I did. He was very generous. After brown belt, I never paid for a class again, plus I got fairly paid! But, that was in the old days, when loyalty and spirit of teaching meant more than business. My sensei produced about 15 black belts, I was the second. All remained loyal and respectful to him throughout the years. I know this was a rarity.

    If I was in the type of school where the instructor took advantage of my teaching as described in the prior posts (having to teach, no compensation and still having to pay for classes myself), I would RUN as fast as possible out of there. That school does not teach true martial arts. That instructor, I'm sure, will not get the loyalty and respect my sensei earned, and probably wouldn't care.

    Yes, I did run a commercial dojo with close to 200 students, but NEVER put money over the interests of a serious student.
     
  9. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I'm not going to discuss the business specifics of this, but suffice to say I am confident that I am not being conned.
     
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  10. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    said every one who was in the.process of being conned
     
  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    And the ones who genuinely weren’t.
     
  12. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well yes exactly, it then becomes a pointless statement, very few people who though they were being conned end up being conned( really only the seriously stupid), the only difference between the others is if they were dealing with a conman or not
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  13. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Let me rephrase it. It's private information that I'm not going to discuss on the internet.
     
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  14. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    A con is where someone is deceived and lied to. If the op knows what he is and isn't getting from this and the instructor is following that. Then it's not a con.

    If the op wants to do it for free that's his choice if that's how he wants to do it
     
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  15. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Well yes you had over 200 students so it didn't matter. If an instructor only has 10 students all together then he can't afford to pay people to teach and can't afford someone not to pay. An instructor shouldn't ever be losing money to run a school
     
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  16. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well yes of course its his choice, but didn't you spend multiple posts complaining that your good nature was being exploited in not a dissimilar manner ?

    a con can also be selling someone a version of reality that courses them to take what ever action you wish them to do. con is derived from confidence trickster, so that's explotation by any one who has your confidence, is it not
     
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  17. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I have an issue with any place that continues to charge/not pay instructors. If they teach to give you a break, give them a month off of dues or something. if they teach a class every week, they should be compensated on an ongoing basis.

    It's different if someone volunteers it. I have no issue with a student who suggests they could keep the school open and making money during vacation, and not requesting compensation. And, of course, if the dojo isn't a money-maker (some just pay for themselves, or even less), then it all changes a bit.
     
  18. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Our dojo barely pays for itself. Several people teach here and there to help cover for the CI. Two people teach consistently on certain nights/times. No one gets paid. Nor was anyone expected to teach for free. The ones who do do so because they want to.

    Our tuition is less than half the average going rate in the area. And it hasn’t gone up in years. Another student and I did some quick math one night and estimated the place is break-even when you multiply the approximate number of students x monthly tuition - approximate expenses. When you know that’s the case, it’s pretty easy to want to help out. When it’s a commercial place making pretty good money and charging you a premium, it’s not so easy to volunteer your time and/or services.
     
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  19. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Yeah I mean teaching isn't my main area. I've done it before and I still do from time to time but if someone wants to do it and is fine to do it for no payment or reward then that's their choice. All this bs jobo is on about cons, if someone agrees to teach for free that's not a con at all. A con is if an instructor says he'll pay you but then doesn't pay you then yeah that's a con. At the end of the day if people want to do that then brilliant but not everyone does and people shouldn't be made to do it if they don't want to
     
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  20. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Your first mistake was giving Jobo’s post (any Jobo post) anything beyond a glance for entertainment value.
     

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