You know last night was one of the most challenging Pee Wee classes (ages 4-7) that I’ve taught in a while.
First, I usually have an assistant or two to help out. Junior students make great assistants. They learn, you learn and the class learns. It’s a win-win-win.
Anyhow last night I had 14 yellow to blue belts in one of my Little Ninja classes – yes all aged between 5-7… and for the first time in a LONG time, no assistants.
Within the first 5 minutes of class I had:
one boy with a blood nose thanks to an accidental head butt
another two kids run into each other because they were not looking where they were going – the result – a bloody and wobbly tooth
2 kids arrive late of which one went on to wet his pants within the next 10 minutes
Two years ago, this would have freaked me out – I’m not sure that I would have coped all that well… I probably would have just curled up in the fetal position and cried…
For a few minutes it was a tornado of activity, but thanks to some experience, calm behavior and the class actually DOING WHAT I ASK THEM the rest of us got through it unscathed.
Now as I had to attend to the most pressing problem first (the blood nose) I had to leave the floor…
I know what you’re thinking – 13 kids left unattended for a couple of minutes equals a disaster. The room would be in worse shape than when I left right?
Thanks to the Early Learning System, my kids tend to behave a lot better than before I was using it. When I came back, sure they were talking quietly, but they hadn’t moved from their positions. I was proud of them and congratulated them for behaving so well.
I later had to leave the floor again to help with the child who wet his pants – oh man, where were my assistants?? – this time I employed a very useful game.
I said, “Ok, we’re going to play a game right now, it’s called ‘Quiet as a Mouse’. Remember you have to be as quiet as you can and the winner will get 5,000 points when I come back.”
Within 2 seconds my entire class sat down cross legged or in seiza and not a peep was heard. This allowed me to attend to the other problem, and when I returned, points were awarded.
Try this method for yourself whenever you have to leave class unattended for a minute – it works like a charm. =)
To your success!