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Old 11-22-2000, 07:42 PM   #1
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
After years of training, I've finally realized that the head instructor of the dojo hasn't taught me a thing!

He doesn't teach at all. He's not interested in being a teacher, he's interested in having his students learn. Most people would think teaching and learning are the same things, but they aren't.

A teacher is someone who has this prearranged method of instruction ready. This course of training represents authority, policies of the organization, ways we've learned it before. However, what do you do (as an instructor) when you can clearly see that the students are "not getting it"?

You can hope that after X number of years of practice, they'll understand. You can make a mental note and try and revise the lesson for next week, or you can change your way of instruction to suit the students' understanding.

Let's say you've shown the class this technique and now you're watching them bungle it big-time. Both uke(attacker) and nage(thrower) fell, while doing the technique. Try a different approach to instruction.

Maybe you can break-down the technique into a simpler set of moves, that they can put together after some practice. Perhaps you can show them some exercises that relate to the movement they're having a hard time learning. Think of different approaches to understanding, besides the one lesson you had devised off the mat. Maybe you can use a different metaphor to help your students understand the technique more closely. The real purpose behind all this is getting the students to learn, to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the technique at hand.

Do you think this approach is a possibility, or is all pretentous hot air?? Are you, as an instructor, allowed the freedom of changing the lesson plan on the mat? Or is there someone else looking over your shoulder?

Inquiring minds want to know.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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