They have 50 methods, each one giving 2% control.
On a daily basis, the good teacher executes many of these methods.
Here are a few:
- Sit a child next to you and use them as a demonstration person
- Kids love movement so move as you talk.
- Use humour, raise your voice, whisper, impersonate someone, ask a question.
- Click your fingers or clap your hands as you talk.
- Mention the name of one student as you talk. (Use them as an example.)
- Praise in public, reprimand in private.
- Tell the kids you are looking for an assistant for the next technique - someone who is listening well.
- In front of the whole class, tell the higher belts that they have that rank because of their ability to listen and concentrate.
- For those who struggle to concentrate, look out for the moment they show improvement. The moment they do, acknowledge them in front of everyone.
- Before the start of the class, set the student a task during that night’s training session. It may be, the moment you clap your hands they find a partner and do a particular technique.
- Commend a student’s behaviour in front of their parent at the end of the session.
- Invent an active listening position. If you don’t know one, ask any primary school kid in your class. He or she will know what to do.
- Learn how to drill the basics whilst commending individual students - by name - at the same time - "1, 2, good punch Lilly, 3, 4, 5."
- Pre-frame what is going to happen in the class so the kids know where they are heading.
- During serious drilling within the class, announce that you will call out, “Hi kids”. At this point they are all to turn and casually say, “Hi Sensei”. Then back to serious drilling. This shows that they can switch attitudes at will.
- When drilling, move kids forward one step at a time when they concentrate really well. Most kids like being at the front as they realise this is recognition.
- Video someone concentrating well and send it to their parents via Multi media message format.
- Change drills as soon as they get used to it. (This doesn’t mean doing a different technique.)
- Make the movement a challenge. Have an easy version and a hard version - they choose. Then finally ...
- Make concentration your highest priority in your class. Everything is easy if your students can concentrate. It all starts with the focus of the teacher.
Now you are 40% of the way there. You will be amazed at the difference these things make. Remember, kids need to be taught how to concentrate. It’s a skill just like driving a car. It takes practice with a skilled instructor. But even when someone has a car accident, it doesn't mean they are a bad driver. It just means they need a reminder of the consequences.
Martial arts is the same. If you don’t listen and concentrate, someone gets hurt.