Paying Attention to Your Students…

For most of us what makes it enjoyable as instructors is to have students who enjoy attending our classes and seeing their skill sets develop.

However there’s one major factor that delays many instructors (particularly those new to teaching) in achieving teaching success…

If you want your classes to grow in numbers, become a better martial arts teacher, or simply just make sure your sailing is smooth, there’s one thing above all else you’ve got to do… and that is to be sensitive to your student’s abilities and limitations.

What do I mean?

I mean it’s important to pay attention to each and everyone of your students. Pay attention to the little details. Realize that each student is unique and has different obstacles to overcome. They may possess stronger skills in one area and weaker skills in another.

Some may have flexibility issues, old injuries, mental and/or physical disabilities. And some require motivation, reassurance or simply need to toughen up. And as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow you can count on the fact that you’ll have people who learn and process information in different ways.

A savvy instructor realizes all of these factors affect not only how they teach, but their student’s training routine.

Novice instructors often overlook this and take the drill sergeant approach… my way or the highway, you don’t like it, leave, etc. When what’s really required is some sensitivity from us as instructors to know our students and know them well.

If someone isn’t performing to their ability, it’s your job to figure out why. The easy cop out is to say, “They’re just having a bad day” or “I showed them how to do it. It’s their fault if they can’t.”

Really? Is that it? Could it be the way you’re teaching?

Next time you teach, take note of whether or not you’re paying attention to the individual students or are you trying to throw a net over all your class and treat them all the same?

Until next time…

– Jason

4 thoughts on “Paying Attention to Your Students…”

  1. Awesome post Jason!
    I know I have had a few days (when I was new at teaching) that I just wrote it off to the students having a bad day.
    These days I always spend a little time after class reviewing, in my head, how the whole lesson went over. For (new) teachers I would suggest keeping a journal or lesson plans and review sheets. What questions, what mistakes, etc did the students have?

  2. Jason

    Thanks for providing this service. I have been running my own dojo for two years and consider myself new to teaching.

    I have been reading your blogs for a year and never grow tired of them. Thank you.


  3. Hey Brent,

    It's so important to self assess like you say. For so many years I didn't until I had enough pain to make me stop and think about how I might be contributing to my class's lack of performance. Review sheets and plans are a great idea!

    Thanks for your post.



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