Assistant Instructors

masherdong

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Hello all,

I have a question for you all. How many Assistant Instructors is too many? Right now, we have 8 with me included.

Another question is, if one or several of your AI's are not pulling their duty, do you replace them? I know we have a few other students that are interested in becoming AI's but we are full. How would I address this situation with the instructor if I feel that I am the one doing all of the work and the others are just "tagging along for the ride"? Me and one other AI feel that we are doing the bulk of the work by running classes, helping out, and doing extra stuff outside of class (i.e. facebook group, myspace group pages, organizing tournaments, etc)

What should I do?

Thanks in advance for your help and guidance.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Hello all,

I have a question for you all. How many Assistant Instructors is too many? Right now, we have 8 with me included.
Depends upon the class size and number of students in the school, as well as the class structure. Eight assistants could each help with a different rank of student, provided the classes are large enough to warrant such an arrangement.

Another question is, if one or several of your AI's are not pulling their duty, do you replace them?
What duties are specifically entailed in being an assistant instructor? Does it mean that they must do a specific regimen of duties or does wearing the patch simply mean that they are a student that the master is comfortable directing students to for individualized help while he works with the larger class?

I know we have a few other students that are interested in becoming AI's but we are full.
Why do they want to be assistant instructors? Are there perks at the school that go along with it? For an ego buff? Perhaps there's income? Or do they feel that they have something worthwhile to offer? Seems to me that they should just concentrate on training. I've never heard of AI slots in a school. Most masters simply choose students who've proven themselves and ask them to assist in class or to be official assistant instructors. Does one apply to the position or is it offered by the master?
How would I address this situation with the instructor if I feel that I am the one doing all of the work and the others are just "tagging along for the ride"?
Is this having an adverse affect on your training or the training of the students in the classes where they assist? If you feel strongly about it, talk to your master.
Me and one other AI feel that we are doing the bulk of the work by running classes, helping out, and doing extra stuff outside of class (i.e. facebook group, myspace group pages, organizing tournaments, etc)
Running classes and helping out in classes is an honor and is part of being an assistant instructor. The rest goes beyond that, though it is generally part of being on the school staff. Chances are, your master sees the extra effort and work that you do and appreciates it.

Put it into perspective first. Why are you there? Are you getting what you need from the training that you receive? If the answer is yes to both of these, then I'd say that the lack of equal participation on the part of other assistants shouldn't be a factor. Focus on your own training and on doing your best with regards to you AI position. If you intend to teach or open your own school one day, it is all good experience for you.

As I said, if you feel strongly regarding the other AI's lack of participation, talk to your master about it.

Best wishes,

Daniel
 

Bill Mattocks

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My dojo is small, and although it takes an average of 9 years to earn the rank of black belt there, many students have been there for 15 or 20 years or even more. Therefore, a good half or more of every class consists of black belts.

Also at my dojo, all black belts are expected to be teachers as well. They are not paid for this - some do more and some do less. Some come in and run classes to 'keep the lights on' as my sensei says. Some just assist during classes with correcting form and offering advice, as well as being sparring partners to demonstrate correct movements. In return, they are not expected to pay monthly dues anymore.

It can be a little overwhelming to me sometimes, but I appreciate the advice and assistance I get. I never feel like I'm out there all alone, being ignored while I stumble through my kata. If I have my feet wrong, or my breathing is wrong, some one is going to notice it and correct me.

The only time I've notice a problem is when one black belt tells me one thing, and then another tells me something somewhat different about the same move - but I can deal with it.

Too many cooks might spoil the broth, as they say, but I feel that there can't be too many black belts helping me learn. I'm happy to have their assistance.
 

Flying Crane

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Sounds to me like you may be a disciple, while the other AIs may be simply students.

In the long run, a disciple generally is taught more of the art, in more depth.

A student, who is never elevated to the level of disciple, may never get the same quality of instruction, altho it may take a while before this becomes apparent.

So maybe one way to look at it is that you are getting a lot more experience teaching (if that is something you want), as well as showing your sifu that you value your relationship with him by helping with the other stuff. That's what opens doors down the road, if you have a old-school traditional sifu.

Or, it may simply be that the other guys are slackers and are riding on your back.

You'll need to decide which is true.
 

searcher

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I currently have 2 assistant instructors and that is the number that works for me. If I start to get some more that are interested, I will start them on the road to becoming an AI. Please understand that all of my BB students must be able to teach and know the material inside and out. Being able to teach and even helping the lower ranks does nto make a student into an AI, it merely makes them more capable of a student.

If I did come to a point where I had a very large number of assistants, I will start working them to start their own schools and branch out(has not happened yet). Most of my senior students are not interested in teaching or having their own school. They are content with training and increasing their own knowledge and skill.


As far as telling your instructor about the situation, don't think he is completely oblivious to what is going on. We know more then what you might think. The problem comes when an instructor knows and is not willing to do anything about it, for whatever reason. It may be that he is wanting to see how you handle it.
 

hkfuie

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I am in a similar situation outside of MA. And after a while I was approached by the person in charge and asked how I felt about it. I said if there's something to be done, I will just do it.

Cha-ching! I know I got alot of brownie points for that one! LOL! No need to quibble over who's doing more. The instructor is probably aware. Meanwhile, you are gaining EXPERIENCE. It's a no lose situation for you if you keep a good attitude about it.

:)
 

Drac

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Depends on the size of the class..In the police academy classes for self defense aka subject control there are approx 35 students, one chief instructor and 3 assistant instructors...
 

Thesemindz

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Hello all,

I have a question for you all. How many Assistant Instructors is too many? Right now, we have 8 with me included.

Another question is, if one or several of your AI's are not pulling their duty, do you replace them? I know we have a few other students that are interested in becoming AI's but we are full. How would I address this situation with the instructor if I feel that I am the one doing all of the work and the others are just "tagging along for the ride"? Me and one other AI feel that we are doing the bulk of the work by running classes, helping out, and doing extra stuff outside of class (i.e. facebook group, myspace group pages, organizing tournaments, etc)

What should I do?

Thanks in advance for your help and guidance.


As for how many, that's hard to answer without knowing how many classes of what size teaching what material to what age group. Generally at the school I used to teach at, we had one instructor teaching class, with one assistant instructor, and then whatever high brown or black belt students were hanging out that night. But that was for teaching between ten and twenty people at a time. We only had three full time paid instructors, the owner, myself, and another black belt, for about 100 regularly attending kids and adults.

As to how to rat out the lazy assistant instructors, don't bother. Keep doing what you're doing and you'll get ahead. If they don't want to put in the work, they won't go far anyway. It's just like your martial arts training. You don't have to tell on people who don't practice, because their performance will expose them anyway, and they probably won't stay long if they aren't interested enough to put in the extra effort.


-Rob
 

terryl965

<center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR
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Xue it would depend on the size of class and if someone is not pulling there wieght sure go talk to the head guy about it. It is called proper communication.
 

Twin Fist

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I have a designated "Senior Student" who is incharge when I am not there, but my school is too young to have any AI's
 

Grenadier

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Assistant instructors are still students, if you think about it. If there's no need for them to perform instructional duties on a particular day, they can still help by being good students, who set good examples for the others to follow.

All assistant instructors are expected to help in some way or another, even if it simply means "just being your black belt self."

Those who give substandard efforts on a consistent basis, will be taken aside, so that they can have a conversation with the chief instructor. It need not be a harsh scolding; sometimes a particular AI might not be feeling well, or maybe something's bothering them. We're all human beings, after all.

In my dojo, there is only one active sensei giving the commands to the group as a whole, at any given time. Even if there are others in the class who have the title of sensei or sempai, they don't give commands to the class as a whole. While they may give commands to a smaller group that they're working with, they still report to the active sensei on the floor, even if they are equal or superior rank.

Think of it as the active sensei having tactical command, which temporarily supercedes the other sensei's ranks, unless the chief instructor pulls them aside for some reason or another. It's the designated active sensei's class to teach, and not for the others to do so.

This doesn't mean that the AI's can't offer some suggestions. If they ask or tell the active sensei something off to the side, then it's generally OK.

If anything, I rely on the views of other AI's on matters that I might not understand too well. For example, one particular student, a shy little girl, really had to use the restroom, and I didn't notice anything, until one of the AI's frantically waved a hand and quickly whispered to me that she needed to go NOW.

I'll be thankful about this, since that means one less mess I don't have to clean up!
 

firerex

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at my academy we have 6 instructors (only 4 can teach the adults) and like 15 assistant instructors, im the only one who is always on the mat assisting and have actually taught my own class but as for the other assistant instructors and 2 of the instructors who can teach adults we cycle through them
 

searcher

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at my academy we have 6 instructors (only 4 can teach the adults) and like 15 assistant instructors, im the only one who is always on the mat assisting and have actually taught my own class but as for the other assistant instructors and 2 of the instructors who can teach adults we cycle through them


How big is your school?:jaw-dropping:
 

bowser666

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Me personally I would not worry about what the other assistant instructors are doing. Trust me, your Sifu is aware of what is gonig on and this is just another test to see which students are potential disciples as well as to test your mental mettle. In truth you can do nothing but grow and it will further develop your skills as a teacher and mentor to take the brunt of the burden. Be grateful for your position and the opportunity that you have to learn what it means to be a leader. It will help you in many areas of your life outside the Kwoon.
 
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