Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Learning to Be A Good Teacher

In my eyes, I am not a good teacher yet - but I am learning to be one. You can, too.

I want my students to "get the full load" of Wing Tsun. It's been my experience that I learn most when I teach. Whenever I teach others, I teach myself. This is not just a saying. It is a fact.

In order to help you become a good teacher, I am going to start charging you with the responsibility of teaching every new student you bring into the school. That won't be your primary responsibility, of course. Your primary one is to learn WT yourself, but if you know that you must accept at least some responsibility for your friend's progress when you bring him to class, that accomplishes a few things:

1. You become more careful about whom you bring in. Bring in people you trust, people you "get good vibes" from - not just anyone.

2. You learn how to feed your own Wing Tsun habit. Wing Tsun is like an addiction. Once you "catch the bug", it will never let you go again, trust me. The good part is that WT is the healthiest addiciton I know of.

3. As assistant instructor (which this helps you become), you get extra private lessons at reduced rates compared to regular students.

4. Since you get a discount for each student you bring in, it's only fair that you should take care of them, stay in touch with them, help them if they have questions or problems, etc. Remember: you are their Sihing/SiJe, i.e., older brother or sister. They are family now!

Other than that, what does it take to be a good teacher? Sure, you have to be good yourself, but it's even more important that you care about how much (and how well) your student learns - and whether he has fun while learning it.

Alex Wallenwein

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