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#147521 - 05/22/05 05:18 AM Learning to Teach
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Following on from the "Small Children" thread, what are some of the things you, as senior teachers, do to bring the next generation of instructors to the next level?

How do you teach your senior students (those that are so inclined) to teach others?

What do you teach? What skills to you impart to them?

What is your criteria for determining the teaching level of your instructors?

What do they have to learn, in order to teach effectively.

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#147522 - 05/22/05 06:10 AM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: eyrie]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
How to develop instructors 101.

Well among the first criteria is they've taken the time to acquire a more advanced knowledge of the system, so they're working hard about 10 years after reaching sho-dan and understand where their studies might go.

Then they have to have an interest in sharing their studies. Most dan's focus on training is for themselves. That is proper for them, it takes a larger desire for the art's future than their own needs to become an instructor.

Then they undergo mentorship, work with me developing a new generation of students. About the time they've taken a group of students through the system from beginner to sho-dan they've acquired enough insight to the instructors role to become a beginning instructor.

They need to learn how to read students different potentials. To understand how to shape the common template of the system to those different students. They need to understand the way students are evaluated by performance to begin new levels of training. They need to unerstand why students stop training, why students reach plateau's of training and see how one works to move them past those points. They need to see that everyone will seek their own level, that you can't force them into it, and if the time comes to depart that answer is the right one for the student.

They learn these 'things' by participating in the instructor making those decisions.

You help them understand how to guide a student, what aspects of a students mistakes to concentrate on, and which ones to pass on for the time being waiting for different layers of ability development before you correct.

The 15 total years training time frame I use to take an instructor to the point where they're ready to teach actualy uses about the last 5 years in mentor-ship preparing to become an instructor.

And more critically, at the time they become an instructor, and have to make decisions on their own about the arts shape and development, they have to be sensitized that they are only a beginner in that role, and instruction and work at the art will remain for a lifetime.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#147523 - 05/22/05 07:18 AM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: Victor Smith]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Thanks for the reply Victor.

How much of what you teach is system specific, and how much is general coaching/mentoring?

Roughly, what's the spilt between theory and practical?

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#147524 - 05/22/05 06:57 PM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: eyrie]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
eyrie,

From a technical point, I don't begin with theory, instead the mentorship of having the 'potential' instructor work with me, observe the methodology used. Then when there are questions about how decisions are reached, move into a more theory related explanation as to why those choices were made.

Next they are given a group of students to develop and track, and I give observations about their choices, as well as more general directions.

The further they get into their study of instruction, the deeper it becomes and it is non-ending. Far down range you then get into the theories how the instruction changes for different decisions, where the group or individual may go.

There is no one correct answer, just working decisions that you use to re-inforce the path needed.

The truth is you can't do everything, and many paths are not appropriate for all students or instructional goals. For example developing youth is vastly different from developing people that live in a violent day to day environement, and developing someone who wishes to use the art for competition (at any level) is very different from other needs too.

You don't give someone the answers, you give them guidelines that take continual effort.

It is my contention that a minimum of 15 continious years training under one instructor is enough for beginning the instruction process. The time depends on the students abilities, and where their true goals lie.

But I see being a instructor much different than just standing before a group of people barking out orders.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#147525 - 05/22/05 09:03 PM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: Victor Smith]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
I see where you are coming from, and agree, developing people and "teaching" them how to develop other people is an "inexact science".

Is 15 years, elapsed time, or continuous? As in a uchi-deshi program?

I'm not certain that most would have the money or time to spend 15 years learning how to teach.

What are other's viewpoints?

Do you feel that a degree/diploma/certified course in a sports science/coaching/mentoring would be sufficient in equipping one with the fundamentals of teaching others?

If so, why? If not, why?

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#147526 - 05/23/05 01:30 AM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: eyrie]
BulldogTKD Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 294
My view on building teachers is a bit different then Mr. Smiths. I believe that not everyone needs 15 or so years to become a good teacher or great teacher for that matter. Everyone has different learning abilities as well as teaching abilities and there development as teachers will very. I do believe that there needs to be a mentorship program and that the instructor in training needs plenty of guidance but also needs time to develop there own style of teaching. As long as the instructor in training continues to train and advance, they will also continue to grow. I do agree with Mr. Smith with his other points, but an apprenticeship for such a long time is well, a long time.

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#147527 - 05/23/05 08:17 AM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: BulldogTKD]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Just a small point of clarification. The mentorship isn't 15 years to become an instructor. About the first 10 years the concentration is on their own developing karate skills, and at that point if they continue their own development and wish to undergo instructor mentorship the next 5 or so years would add that on top of their ongoing training. A large part of it is actually working with a group through the entire process from beginner through sho-dan qualifications, and not the requirements of how higher levels of training are focused.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#147528 - 05/23/05 08:58 AM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: Victor Smith]
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
Victor,
So do you basically have to make a decision between training higher levels and training to be an instructor? I don't mean exclusively, but with most of the emphasis on that particular area?
_________________________
We should all take ourselves seriously...and then crumple that image up and toss it out the window.

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#147529 - 05/23/05 09:32 AM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: Victor Smith]
Gemini Offline
Member

Registered: 11/28/04
Posts: 333
Loc: NY, USA
I really enjoyed your reply, Victor. It's rare to see someone address this question with such an indepth response focusing on the need to recognize the individualities of the students. I've seen so many "I got my BB, now I want to open my own school", it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It's refreshing to see someone who isn't willing to compromise. To truly learn any art, there are no short cuts.

Regards,

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#147530 - 05/23/05 10:06 AM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: Victor Smith]
BulldogTKD Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 294
Thank you for the clarification Mr. Smith. Well then heck, I think your instructor building program is a mighty fine one then. There are too many schools that are being run by a first dan or higher that have not undergone any mentorship, and the quality of teaching is lacking polish and depth.

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#147531 - 05/23/05 10:46 AM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: JoelM]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Joel asked: "So do you basically have to make a decision between training higher levels and training to be an instructor? I don't mean exclusively, but with most of the emphasis on that particular area?"

No actually you have to make the choice to really work on advancing your own training and to also undertake the instructor mentorship both at the same time.

The reality is you are taking a larger burden and have to work much harder, just as I do having to mentor the individual and work on their overall progress too.

My students don't pay for instruction (none of them), and the responsibility to teach rests with the instructor, never the dan student. Taking on teaching is a choice they make and work towards.

Being an instructor is not a reward, it is an obligation for the future of our art.

In turn when one becomes an instructor they were a black belt with a red and white stripe on one side. The red and white stripe is on the inside and is almost unseen. Not for recognition, but to remember the obligation of teaching each time one dons the obi.
_________________________
victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#147532 - 05/23/05 10:08 PM Re: Learning to Teach [Re: Victor Smith]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
I like how you put it: "...an obligation for the future of our art".

In many ways, the investment in mentorship is an investment in the future. As such, it is not something to be taken casually or lightly.

An "internship" with a good teacher would be ideal. However, the reality is, there are few teachers like Mr Smith who teach, and mentor, for no money.

For some, the reality may be having to fork out money in one way or another to obtain (dan) ranking and/or certification (either nationally or internationally recognized, or whether it is industry specific or not, e.g. a sports coaching degree - with or without a martial arts specialization component).

In Australia, there are a number of what we call "Registered Training Organizations" (RTOs) which will provide nationally recognized training and certification in a vocation or industry "recognized" qualification. One can obtain "recognized qualifications" in the Martial Arts "Industry" and associated professions.

(The "Industry" Association exists to protect the "consumer" from "charlatans" and to provide "insurance" for the legitimate "business" operator).

This is only one type of qualification. There is also a National Coaching Accrediation Scheme (NCAS) which will provide you with a sports coaching certification/diploma qualification (3 levels), which is much broader in it's application. i.e. with an NCAS Level 1, you could be coaching the women's netball team at the next Olympics.

How do people feel about these as alternatives to the ideal (let's use Victor's example for the moment)?

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