MightyBands, home gym system

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Good Teacher Communicates..a GREAT Teacher...

..connects with their students.

Although I can't brag about my extensive (or lack thereof) years of martial arts experience, I can look back at a handful of teachers and think back to what made them really good teachers or simply, mediocre instructors (albeit, exceptionally skilled in their respective art).

It comes down to the teachers ability to connect with their students. Although on the surface, this may seem very simple, I really don't think it's all too common. Instead, there are many teachers that simply teach in a manner that essentially allows for them to brag about their skills, either in the form of putting down students' techniques, beating up on students repeatedly, or just talking too much and not allowing their students to really get into the flow of the exercises. Many just want to show off what they can do and teaching the student, letting them "get it" becomes secondary.

Sure it may not be intentional on their part, but if i were paying, the teacher better realize this and fix this asap.

Teachers that connect, on the other hand, finds common ground with the student, to see the world in their eyes, to teach from the perspective of someone who is just learning this for the first time in their eyes (even though the teacher may have done this drill for the billionth time).

Teachers that connect expend great energy - not in the sense of physical energy, but in terms of intonation, attitude, emphasis and giving good examples, explanations in addition to the day to day practical/physical aspect of the martial arts.

The worst are the "arm chair" teachers that sit in the office during the teaching hours and have their students run the majority of classes. They believe that their skills are too great to share directly with the "inferior" students and risks teaching them "dangerous/deadly" moves...which is just BS. Knowledge is power, but secrecy is isolation - there is no connection in such a relationship.

Because connecting expends great energy, it's truly amazing how these teachers can do this day in and day out, set time for their own training, private lessons and have enough left over for family time or work time. It's truly a draining process that requires essential moments of recharging.

But to these teachers, I thank them. These are the ones that really make the classes exciting, that bring perspective to the students and help us discover our own "aha moments". And not only do such moments last for only a second, we can bring home these moments to explore even more so on our own time.

A good teacher simply tells you what to do, a great teacher connects with you so that you know what to do.

What kind of teacher do you have?

Until then.

1 comment:

Michael Fletcher said...

Our Sifu recently went away for 2 months, and left us to train with a Si Hing from another school. Now this Si Hing has some experience having trained in Europe as well as under our Sifu who has Hong Kong Lineage but the change was like a breath of fresh air. Sure he lacked some of the knowledge our Sifu has but just the switch in atittude and energy has really changed the dynamic of our class, even now after our Sifu has returned. He seems to be feeding on the energy as well. The connection is important but also sometimes relationships can become stale and need a shake up.

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