Joel Riggs teaches Aikido, plays piano, enjoyed California for 22 years ('86 - '08), now enjoys Georgia, and reads voraciously.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

On Kids Aikido Classes

43 days until moving day.

I had a long meeting over dinner last night with Jeff, Michael, and David about handing over all my kids classes at the dojo. They wanted to know what I have found works and what does not work in running the classes. We also went through the list of students and I shared what I see each of them working on or needing.

At any point in any class, each individual student needs one of three things: to be supported, to be challenged, or to be left alone. If a student is struggling a bit with a technique or with their partner, then they need some attention, advice, a helping hand, a guide to show them the next step, and sometimes encouragement to help them feel like they are making progress. If a student is goofing off or is not following the instructions well, then they need to be stretched a bit further, given an extra assignment that will make them stop and think and struggle to achieve it. And if a student is in the flow of the class and the practice, then they are best served by being left alone to continue.

With this little filter going on at all times, I can walk through the class and observe students one by one and can tell where to intervene and where not to. Before long, the class runs smoothly, and everyone has something to work on that is appropriate for them in that moment.

Labels: , ,