The next level--teaching

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Mike Hamer, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer Green Belt

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    I am not too far off from my associate instructor degree in Instinctive Response Training, but in order to get there I really have to push myself to that next level and develop a teachers mindset. I am just wondering if any of you have any information or stories that might be helpful to me in my quest to improve myself and my understanding of what it takes to teach, and what helped you get to that level. It doesnt matter what art you study, I am interested in any point of view from any art, and what helped you make the leap!
     
  2. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Remembering what it was that you loved about your instructor and bringing that into your teaching skills. Also remeber what it is to be a student and how hard it was for you sometimes.
     
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  3. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    I would really pay attention to how you are taught and at the end of the night take notes of how the course was laid out and look at what you liked the most and what you liked the least. A few times of doing this you can start to write out your own class training schedule. I know that when I first started teaching I was totally lost but once I started writing and sticking to my curricullum my classes were better and I started to grow in popularity
     
  4. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer Green Belt

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    Both good points
     
  5. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Teaching is fun. It has to be fun for you. What works for me may not work for you. Also what works for you in learning may not work for others.

    Some learn by watching and they see it in the mirror and get it. Others have to see it in facing the same way as them.

    Others need to feel it on them and others need to feel it as you guide them through the execution on you.

    Always back up the above with verbal instruction. I like to repeat what I say using different words as not everyone gets the anecdote/story or knows the vocabulary you know.

    Also if you try to teach everything at once the student learns nothing.
     
  6. ppko

    ppko Master Black Belt

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    Great point there, this is one thing I always stress to my students is about how they got to find there own way I am not looking for carbon copies of myself.
    the last part I really want to touch base on is your last sentence. This was one major problem I had when I first started teaching is trying to give way to much information in one night instead of drilling things. While over drilling isnt good niether is doing to little. When you jump around a lot you tend to lose focus and skip out on important details like how you can do this certain thing so efficiently or what ever.
     
  7. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Are you looking for the mechanics of teaching or the will or desire to teach?

    One can be taught, the other cannot. In my style, every black belt is expected to be able to teach -- but that's not the same as saying every black belt is a teacher. There are lots of reasons why someone may not choose to be a teacher or instructor; time, money, personal inclination... You may find that you teach well in a group setting... or in a one-on-one setting.

    What energizes you about your art? That's what you can share best. If you start there, teaching will energize you -- and you'll share that energy with your students.
     
  8. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a common problem, I've observed.

    It's really tempting to try to "spare" a student all the drudgery that got us to where we are today. I caught this when I realized that we were trying to teach students on their first night EVERYTHING about a punch or block... and barely getting through a single punch or block in the night. Amazingly enough -- we lost a few students because they didn't see any progress. After all, after a month, they were still on the first punch or two!

    We got to where we are by the drudgery. It's part of the learning. We can present things differently. We can share some shortcuts or prevent some wrong turns... but in the end, the student MUST put the time and work into the drilling and practice to develop the skills. An analogy I use a lot is building a road. If you plopped a 8 lane superhighway down across a stretch of land, just throwing the finished concrete and blacktop down -- it won't work. You have to spend the time clearing the woods, laying the foundations, etc. before you can build the superhighway.
     
  9. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer Green Belt

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    I definitely have the will and desire to teach and pass along skill sets, just looking for some of the mechanics ;)

    What energizes me about my art is the creativeness/spontaneity that it allows a practitioner to have , and the fact that we cover such a wide base of techniques that I could walk into almost any school and feel comfortable right away, if not after a short period of time because we focus on universal principles that are prevalent in almost every art.

    Thanks to everybody for the helpful posts :D
     
  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Lesson plans are a good start, especially for a new teacher.

    Look for a class on teaching adult learners at places like your local community college. The instructor development course required for LE trainer certification was one of the most useful classes I've had with the most application outside of work. A class like that will help you with the mechanics and give you tools to structure your teaching for adults.
     
  11. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    I really like JKS's suggestion of the community college. :)

    Personally I have never done any MA teaching. However, for a living I do systems engineering which is kind of like high-level tech support. Part of my day is spent solving problems, the other part is spent explaining stuff. ;)

    Take any opportunity you have to teach whatever you can...including material outside the MA world. I noticed on another thread that you are a musician. Try your hand at teaching music, either to a friend, or in the community, or even as a job if you have the background.

    Check a local library or other centers in the community (church, YMCA, parks department, etc) to see if they have any volunteer teaching jobs. Many volunteer opportunities, such as Adult Literacy or English as a Second Language can result in some basic training as well as materials, all you have to bring is desire, willingness, and a bit of patience.

    Step forward at work and be the one that volunteers to train up a new employee and get them ready for life on the job. If you are a college student, volunteer to give tours for prospective students or help out at New Student Orientation. If you have other skills -- for example, if you are good at graphic design, or if you're the company computer guy -- see if you can volunteer teaching these in the community as well.

    Something that I have found is that what you learn along the way can apply to all aspects of teaching, training, or even just explaining. A specific example: I became a lot better at working with people in other nations after volunteering as an ESL teacher and working with people that have heavy accents and speak broken English. A general example: attempting various teaching and training tasks has taught me how people learn and perceive material in different ways, and that an example that may work for one student may not work as well for another student.

    Teaching/training is a challenge, and a big responsibility. You are the face and the voice of what you are teaching. You don't have to be perfect, but you do need to do all you can to represent it well. You'll find things you don't know. Don't BS, tell the student that you need to get more background -- then (most important) be sure to follow up with that student promptly. You'll learn a lot. It will also tax you, mentally. Be prepared for that and don't let it stop you. You will get students that don't want to learn, and that may frustrate you...but you will also get the students that love how you have opened doors for them, and that will (hopefully) make it all worth it. :)
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Senior Master

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    Know your material front to back, inside and out.

    Find ways to describe the technique that ANYONE can understand.

    Watch how other teach and pick up on what they do. Visit other schools if you want to see how others do it.

    Keep learning, no matter how much you know.

    Your students will be looking up to you. If you don't have an answer for them to a particular question, tel them you don't know. But do your best to fill it in.
     
  13. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

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    There are ten class management skills that will help you tremendously.

    1)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Set mood and tone of class
    2)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Create a positive climate
    3)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Use a personal approach and individual contact
    4)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Set direct goals
    5)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Give thoughtful feedback to student response
    6)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Reinforce Positive Behavior
    7)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Give Specific, realistic praise
    8)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Use positive correction rather than criticism
    9)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Refer to students by name
    10)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Teach the concept of personal victory
     
  14. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    JKS posted about lesson plans. I agree that when you are first starting to teach they are essential. Less so perhaps later, but always useful. They also help you keep on track timewise. The session slips away very quickly if we lose track of time.

    Another thing in the early stages when planning you lesson is to include some bits that you know inside out and back to front and have a bit of passion for. It might be a combination exercise or paired drill or the explanation of a move in the kata. Invite questions and get the students involved. That helps with your confidence and translates into the confidence the students will have in you.

    Finally, allow some flexibility in the programme. If the session is going off at a useful tangent, go with the flow. You can pull it back whenever you like but if you students are taking you to an area that they would like to explore they will be even more attentive and will appreciate your willingness to allow them a little lattitude. :asian:
     
  15. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer Green Belt

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    Once again, you guys rock!!! I will take all this to heart.
     
  16. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    When I'm not wearing my angry white pajamas, I'm an actual school teacher. So, if you have any specific questions about how to make lesson plans, deliver the lesson and understand curriculum, give me a shout! I love teaching martial arts! It's one of my passions!

    1. Start by teaching a regular class with your instructor present and work on your delivery.

    2. Then, really try and understand the mind of your teacher and get your head around the philosophy of your curriculum.

    3. Develop your own style based around what you like to do so that your enthusiasm infects your students.

    Aloha!
     
  17. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Purple Belt

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    Take some time to clarify what you believe your role is as a teacher. I experienced a lot of frustration over the years because my teaching style wasn't matching up with what I wanted from the class.

    Is your job as teacher to convey information? To motivate training? Etc. Obviously, any teacher is going to be a bit of both. But in my experience, I was a good teacher if teaching meant conveying information. I could tell a student the history of something, the philosophical or conceptual underpinnings of something, the terminology, the variations, the rationale behind dozens and dozens of techniques.

    But could I push them to work hard? To do the things I knew they needed to do to be really good (versus just really knowledgeable)?

    That takes a different approach. And some soul searching. I'm less interested now in being a lecturer and more interested in keeping everyone working. I don't believe you internalize skill by hearing about it. You've actually got to be working it. And students are very often content to do the former, so I needed to learn how to push the latter.


    Stuart123
     

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