We all have students who we enjoy teaching…
You know the ones I mean, right?
There are certain students who simply try their best every time, pick up things quickly and do it well without a complaint. I love to teach karate to students like this who are enthusiastic to learn!
Then there are those students who for whatever reason grate on our nerves. These are the ones who are easily distracted, don’t listen very well (if at all), have sloppy technique no matter how many times we correct them, guide them and help them, and it’s questionable whether they actually want to be in class.
However as professional instructors it’s important that we are able to effectively teach the good, the bad and those who lie in between.
So the other night I realized that every time I walked past one of my students who fits in to the first group, I found I was in a good mood and enjoyed helping him.
Conversely every time I passed one particular student who is the leader of the second group mentioned above, I found my physiology changing. Immediately I noticed I was less friendly, more stern and more easily frustrated when he’d make the same mistake we’ve been working on fixing for months now.
When I realized this I immediately wanted to correct that issue and give my troubled student the same good vibes as my talented student. I made a conscious decision that every time I approached the difficult student that I would pretend he was my model student, thus changing the way I reacted to his lack of focus, and found I was more enthusiastic in the way I helped him.
This in turn changed his physiology, his enthusiasm and willingness to try harder.
Well, sure not everything is perfect with his form yet. And I certainly wasn’t perfect in they way I taught either, as I could still feel that underlying, nagging feeling of aggravation when I’d see him making the same mistakes.
But it was far easier to WANT to help him than previously. And he was more receptive and felt better about himself as class continued.
So I throw this idea out there to you…
Next time you’re teaching a student who is getting on your nerves, think of him or her as one who you love to teach. Change your approach and you’ll most certainly change the results – for both of you.
Until next time,