Why do you require your Black Belts to teach?

Brandon Fisher

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My instructor never made a mistake
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as it should be.
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I sure hope that was tonque in cheek because everyone makes mistakes.
 

James Kovacich

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When I was a lower level apprentice instructor and the other instructors could not make it in, my brother-in-law (who was my instructor at that time) put me in front to teach his class and I made a lot of mistakes. Thats how we learn what it takes to teach.quote]

With all do respect James, how did your students benefit from this?
Someone answered it for me and also I answered it, kind of in another post. I stated that you see things that are wrong that you've done but didn't recognize. That also could be said from the students standpoint. It dosen't mean that they will recognize it though.

Besides all intructor training includes the chief instruor and higher level instructor present. Otherwise it would not be "instructor training."

If your school dosen't have "instructor training," more power to them. But whose students are getting ripped off?

Something to think about.
 

MJS

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Teaching allows you to catch things you might of overlooked otherwise. Even at the most basic level, asissting beginners, you should catch things that are wrong that you've done yourself from time to time but didn't necesarily see it as wrong.

Agreed on that! Seems like when we do something, in the non teaching atmosphere, we're not thinking, so to speak, whereas when we're showing someone something, we now have to think.... Why are we doing this? Why do we punch this way? :)
 

Milt G.

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How do you justify everyone doing a certain drill that is quite core in your art if some people don't have any interest in that drill, if they don't want to do that drill? Think of instructing as another drill, one that may or may not be crucial to your art.

Hello,

I feel that the students have chosen, and are in a particular school, to learn what the teacher is teaching.

This may be considered "over simplification"... But... I think that if students do not have an interest in what the teacher is teaching, and feels is important for student development, then the student should be studying elsewhere.

The responsibility of what is appropriate to teach, and how it is taught is the sole responsibility of the teacher. Good or bad. The student must decide if the situation is a good fit, or not, for them. Certainly not to seem like I feel the teacher is always right. We have all made mistakes. (still make them daily) Your "metal" is in if, and how, you learn from your mistakes and move forward.

When the students are allowed to decide what, and how, the teacher teaches we have the proverbial "cart pulling the horse" scenario. Bottom line. If the student is not interested, to the point of discounting, what is being taught by the teacher then the school is probably not a good fit for the student. As students we will all encounter things we do not see as necessary to learn. If you "stay the course" more often then not you will find that much of what is taught has merit.

Thank you,
Milt G.
 
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Tames D

Tames D

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I sure hope that was tonque in cheek because everyone makes mistakes.

Yes, that was tongue in cheek. But the fact is, if a teacher is making alot of mistakes, it's not a good learning environment for the students. It may be a great learning experience for the 'new teacher', but as paying students, they deserve better.
 

Brandon Fisher

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Yes, that was tongue in cheek. But the fact is, if a teacher is making alot of mistakes, it's not a good learning environment for the students. It may be a great learning experience for the 'new teacher', but as paying students, they deserve better.
It is my feeling that the students of today are the teachers of tomorrow. If guided correctly and taught correctly those that are natural teachers will become great teachers, others will learn to teach a little something but never be great. However a unsupervised apprectice is not a good thing for them or the students in any situation. But just like in the corporate world not all apprentice / internships are paid jobs.
 

James Kovacich

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Hello,

I feel that the students have chosen, and are in a particular school, to learn what the teacher is teaching.

This may be considered "over simplification"... But... I think that if students do not have an interest in what the teacher is teaching, and feels is important for student development, then the student should be studying elsewhere.

The responsibility of what is appropriate to teach, and how it is taught is the sole responsibility of the teacher. Good or bad. The student must decide if the situation is a good fit, or not, for them. Certainly not to seem like I feel the teacher is always right. We have all made mistakes. (still make them daily) Your "metal" is in if, and how, you learn from your mistakes and move forward.

When the students are allowed to decide what, and how, the teacher teaches we have the proverbial "cart pulling the horse" scenario. Bottom line. If the student is not interested, to the point of discounting, what is being taught by the teacher then the school is probably not a good fit for the student. As students we will all encounter things we do not see as necessary to learn. If you "stay the course" more often then not you will find that much of what is taught has merit.

Thank you,
Milt G.
Excellent post. My brother-in-law (instructor) once told me after I told him why he shouldn't promote someone (ignorant me) "Oh your ready to take over the class now?" I got the message.
 

terryl965

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To me teaching is another tool to help you grow as a martial artist, but if that is not what one wants fine do not teach but remember we all teach everyday. One journey never ends at the door but it goes beyond all matters in this Universe.
 

Mark Lynn

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I require ALL students to teach. They start at white belt level and continue as long as they are with me.
After i know a student is capible of preforming a technique , form, whatevre, I have them start showing it to newer students. I watch, correct, or give hints as how to instruct better.
If they are unable to pass on their knowledge then I am not sure they really have that knowledge

Good point

I teach in a rec center part time, so at times I can have an influx of new students at the start of a new session when they just sign up. We're a new program so I don't have home grown students (BBs, or senior brown belts) to help in class yet. So early on if I had a student that was really good for their level in say basics, or a kata. I would assign that student to help another student learn that particular item.

This has reaped many benefits for me and the students alike. I of course watch the student and at the end have the student checked over by myself with the assistant along side of me. But the student teaching the other learns, the students in the class see the responsibility given to that student and they want or desire the same so they study or train harder. And the student learning under the student sees what is expected of them to know at a certain rank and so on.

I have smaller classes so I can do this and I am able to have a watchful eye on them.

This is off topic in a sense but I believe it plays a part in the overall scheme of things.
 

Mark Lynn

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One point that I think is kind of over looked is what type of school is it that is requiring their students to teach.

Is it a full time stand a lone (brick and mortar) school?

How many members?

Is there an instructor training program available?

Are the instructors being compensated in some fashion i.e. reduced tuition, extra classes for instructors, increased rank etc. etc.?

And one of the most important questions to consider what do you mean required to teach? Is it a set class, or is it to help out in a class?

Martial art schools are very diverse and where a student/instructor trains often times colors their opinions. If you train in a back yard and it is a very causal type of thing no money (or very little) changes hands, semi set classes etc. etc. With one chief instructor than I can ssume a person even a senior ranked student wouldn't want to take away their training time to teach newbies, other than using them as cannon fodder so to speak.

However if it is a business (as in a stand alone school or a part time school) then the new students (and any students) are the life blood of the school (income) and they are important to the growth of the school. With more classes comes the burden of teaching more diverse ranks etc. etc. so the head instructor starts to groom assistants and such. In an effort to help grow the program. Growing the program can mean more income, more equipment etc. etc. and in turn providing a better learning experience for the student body overall.

If the program requires someone to teach as part of the rank progression and the student wants to achieve that rank then they know what they are getting in for up front and there should be no ill feelings because of it. If the student is in leadership development type of a program and teaching is part of it, again there should be no ill feelings because of it. If the students is getting reduced tuition, or compensated in some form for their teaching duties then there should be no ill feelings for it.

I don't believe that helping out in class is the same thing as running a class on a weekly, or daily basis. "Requiring your black belts (or a person ) to teach" as in stated in the topic question can be either one and I personally see them as two totally different situations.
 

Mark Lynn

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Hello,

I fully agree. I allow those actively teaching free tuition. For black belts I will, usually, waive the monthly fees if they teach a minimum of one class weekly. Of course, some wish to teach more then that. If it is possible, it will usually be allowed. As the chief instructor of a school, I feel that you should not allow a large majority of the teaching to be done by others. You should continue to be VERY involved in all aspects of teaching to enhance your own learning and understanding.

I have found that the more one of teaching rank teaches, the better they become at the art and discipline. I emphasize "of teaching rank", because I believe that only those at a certain level should be teaching. I do not think a beginning student will benefit much, if any, from teaching others. I think all has to be kept in perspective.

Good point, thanks!
Milt G.

Good post
Although I disagree with the underlined part. As GM Remy use to tell us at his camps, we learn more from sharing the art with others. We grow and the student grows. Even though at the time I was a BB in TKD, I wasn't in Modern Arnis and I learned from working with my friends on it.

IN my situation I let my students lead from the get go. They might not be teaching persay but they start out leading the class in their very early classes. I ask for volunteers, pick one student and have them lead basics, I tell them what to say and they follow suit and they take control. Believe me this is very basic stuff "step forward in forward stance" etc. etc. But this helps get the kids involved and they rock.

Later on if a student is use to this and can do something well for their rank, I'll give them the option of helping out a lower ranked student in learning say a kata to a certain point. This, as I stated in an earlier post helps both parties. Of course I always recognize the student for their help, and while it might only be 15 minutes they really take it to heart.

I didn't believe this before and it took me a while to learn this, but I believe now it is OK on a very limited basis. But I don't think the student needs to be a BROWN, 1st-2nd Dan to help out in class.

With respect
Mark
 

Kwan Jang

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We do have a six month leadership requirement for students reaching black belt ranking. We do it for their own growth and development and to learn leadership skills. They are required to assist with a class at least 1-2 times per week as part of their training towards their black belt. They ususally are just "role models of excellence" and will help demonstrate along side an instructor/paid staff member what we are working on. It does help them gain a deeper understanding of the material and IMO is very helpful to their growth.

I do NOT believe in exploiting your students and forcing them into slave labor or trying to have them do your job for you. Even from a business standpoint, this is a poor move. The quality of your "product" in the marketplace is the quality of your students, especially your advanced students and black belts. If you are not putting out a quality product, you can't expect long term results and profit. IMO, my underbelt students deserve fully qualified instructors to be teaching and leading their class. I do have the BB candidates help for their own sake, but I would never expose my underbelts to them doing the teaching on their own. And with many of them, I'm honestly quite relieved when they have fulfilled their requirement and I can get them back off the floor during the underbelt classes.

My full time staff instructors are all at least 4th dan and excellent teachers and if I am not personally teaching a class, I know and have total faith that they are doing a great job (depending on which group it is), possibly even better than I would. I also know that I pay them very well and my goal is to be able to pay them at least $100,000/yr. each. I consider them and have trained them to be professionals, I feel they should be paid like ones. Though I admit, our school doesn't generate enough income for me to pull this off...yet. My part time assistant instructors are all currently at least 2nd dans and they may lead a group within a class or lead breakaway segments, but even they are still under the direct supervision of the full instructors during a class.
 
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