Dave Organ wrote:
(That's the extent of my Spanish.)
I have a general question I'd like to throw out to the group:
Many who post on this forum are Aikido instructors at one level or another, from Senseis to Sempais to kyu levels teaching beginners, etc. My question is, how serious are you about teaching? Do you show up for class and say "OK, gang, what do you want to learn today? OK, let's try that." Do you spend hours a few days before class studying material, writing and revising lesson plans, and rehearse a class until it shines?
When tasked to teach, is teaching secondary to your Dojo experience or primary?
In other words, how do you personally approach teaching Aikido?
Just a personal note, while I myself take teaching very seriously, I don't believe there is any right answer here. There are a great many teachers I've met with extremely loose attitudes towards instruction, and who are far, far better than I am, and am ever likely to be.
I look forward to your responses, this should prove an interesting conversation!
I have been teaching karate and Aikido for more than 20 years and I always prepare the lesson a couple of days before the class date, however this does not always fall to plan, sometimes you get to the class and find the demographic is not capable of doing the prepared class so you have to improvise and teach a class which would suit the people that turn up.
So in answer to your question yes and no I guess the sign of a good teacher is one that can adapt to changing situations, with out throwing out the essence of what he/she want to teach.
One of the things I plan of any of my classes is to have a theme for the evening, so my students not only practice the basics of either Karate or Aikido or my body balance classes, but something that they can get their minds around with regards to their own spirituality and place in the club and the world.
I find that running the classes like this gives the students something else to discuss besides the techniques they are practicing, it give them a chance to understand and communicate on a different level.
I have been running my classes like this for a long number of years and have found the students after a few month realize that training is not just about the physicality but it goes a lot deeper than what you can see.
Good question Dave,
Take care, be happy and smile lots