Dave Organ (DaveO) wrote:
...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?
First of all thank you for the info about teaching and lesson plans. Interesting stuff
I take my teaching responsibilities very seriously because sensei has entrusted me assisting him. My teaching responsibilities ranks equally with my responsibility to maintain my training and continully improve.
As for formal and documented lesson plans - no but Sensei does want me to work on certain basic techniques like centre/posture, movements and basic techniques. Maybe in the future I might just map out what we should be teaching and have a talk to Sensei about that so that all of the assistant instructors are teaching what sensei wants to focus on.
I have a basic theme to illustrate and allow students train in the above for each class that Sensei has asked me to take on his behalf. For example, last night was a class on taking balance and sensing/feeling where Uke's balance was the weakest and that to get that feeling you had to be relaxed and centred.
As for saying to students what do you want to do - no. My preference is to provide some structure to the training so that students can see the application of aikido principles in the exercises and techniques. HAving said that, I agree that you need some flexibility. You may need to change the lesson plan if students are struggling with something that you've asked them to do. There may be another way or technique that achieves the same end but without the difficulties.
To Ms Rachel Massey:
All the best for your dojo and I look forwad to your new website. I think that fostering close relationships with other dojos is extremely beneficial. There's the support network, the exchange of ideas and variety in training.
We have regular friendship seminars and we invite senseis from other clubs to take classes. Also Sensei encourages visitors to train with us and consequently we dont have mat fees for visitors.
All the best for training all