This week summer has hit early in Southern California.
Where I live the last 3 days have been…
- 100 F / 37.8 C
- 106 F/41.1 C
- 101 F / 38.3 C
It’s been brutal. And if it’s anything like last summer, we’ll probably get 4 months of it too.
Although people who live here are accustomed to hot weather, it’s the change from moderate to hot that really affects the behavior of students.
To put it simply, this week people have been downright grumpy. Students have been unfocused and lethargic… and when that happens the performance of your class takes a dive.
To my best judgement this is for several reasons…
- It’s hot. And it’s just simply uncomfortable.
- Many of my junior students spend the afternoon in the pool, so when they get to class, they’re exhausted.
- Dehydration – people simply aren’t consuming enough water. I had one young adult student ask to leave class last night because “everything is starting to turn black”.
The point to all this is that when there is a big change in weather, schedule, or anything else that is considerably different to the norm, usually you’ll see a decrease in the positive attitude and performance of students, particularly if you teach kids.
What can you do about it?
- Expect less than their best
Don’t demand their best on days like these. You more than likely won’t get it, and you’ll get frustrated asking for it.
- Revise old content
When students are so unfocused, stick to revising past content or issue a challenge of some kind that makes revising past content fun.
Explain that in order to perform better, “you need to feel better”. Feel better by doing the things that put your mind and body in a good shape. Such as drinking plenty of water and eating healthily.
It’s all fairly much common sense but so many instructors take a forceful approach and punish students in every condition, no matter what their rank. Sure if it’s your black belt class and you want to push them, go for it, but stay smart and observe your students for signs of fatigue.
When their gas tanks are empty, there’s no sense trying to drive them uphill.