Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Information Overload

When I was a brown belt student, the dojo offered Intro lessons to prospective students. The Intro was taught by a black belt or 1st kyu brown belt. I remember being asked to lead an Intro session as a brown belt. I was handed a clip board with a detailed sheet listing the items to be covered in each lesson. The instructions…

Stick to the list and try to resist offering too much information.

I followed the advice of the class instructor even though I did not understand it at the time. The sessions covered the basics of courtesy, dojo layout, punches, blocks and a few stances.

I was a class instructor before I truly understood the importance of the instructions. There is a danger of too much information. I also understand how easy it would have been to get carried away with the intro. As a 1st kyu or a new shodan, there is an exuberance and willingness to share.  It takes time to learn how to break down information in digestible pieces depending on the experience level of the student.

As I mentioned to the beginner class last week, Karate and Shrek have something in common.

Karate and Shrek can both be described as being like an onion…layers.


7 comments:

Sis said...

Nice!

Rick said...

... or parfaits.

Michele said...

Ha ha! Parfaits are delicious. :)

SueC said...

Good advice Michelle, I will bear it in mind with my fledgling teaching career (I tend to want to talk to much sometimes). Thanks for sharing...

Michele said...

Thanks for stopping by Sue!

Sometimes I find it difficult to maintain a good balance between talking and doing during class. I change my approach depending on the students in class.

Best of luck on your teaching career. I am sure you are doing great!

Jim Bercaw said...

Most are familiar with the story of the empty jar and ends with the moral: Big rocks go in first.

The problem from the instructor's perspective is what are the "big rocks"?

I have been asked by Sensei to train younger students in various beginner katas.

Each student has a different big rock, for some it's what hand technique to use, for others it's what direction do they turn. For all it seems to be look before you change direction, etc.

Early on, I became frustrated when they didn't perform kata perfectly after I "trained them." However, the more I trained them, I soon realized they "trained me" to look for definite improvement in only one or two aspects of the kata that they didn't know before.

Michele said...

Jim Bercaw: Welcome and thanks for visiting!

Last week we had kyu rank testing in the beginner class. The two weeks prior, we pre-tested the students on their material. I gave each student one thing to work on after each class. I knew I could not give them a laundry list. The big rocks....

Thanks for commenting!