Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Achieving a new rank, but not a new belt

How can that be, you ask? Well, today, I officially joined the ranks of thousands who have chosen to take an extra step in their martial arts journey, and I am now instructing. Well, I'm still technically an instructor trainee, and I can't be certified until I pass certain tests and am at least a black belt. But, today, as part of my new job of working at the school, I taught my first Bear Cubs class. SOLO, no less. The Cubs class is for the 3 and 4 year olds, and today's class was all three year olds. I was told to expect two kids, possibly three, and I ended up with four kids. That was fine-- the more the merrier after all. There was one boy and three girls. The boy, oh, he was a handful. Even SW and Mr. A both commented when I told them how class went that this boy and his older brother are a handful, and they make my sensory seeking, bouncy Drew look like an angel in comparison, so that's saying a lot! While I did my best to explain in 3 year old terms why we did stuff, and kept things moving, J was a bit of a problem. He'd lay all over the floor, and try to disrupt class a little bit, but I'd just say a quick word or two, and continue with class. At one point, I even said, "(J), if you don't want to participate, you can sit here in the blue area (side of the mats) like a black belt, and you can join us again when you are ready. 'Yes, Ma'am?'". And all I got was a look like, "You gotta be kidding me, B****.". So I repeated, "Yes Ma'am??", wanting to repeat it to acknowledge, and he just kept up that look, so I just gave him a look like, "I'm not happy, but I'm not dealing with you, brat," and continued with class. As long as he was not disrupting, I let him be. I wasn't going to let him take away from the three girls there. I think he's going to be a challenge, and this sounds harsh, but I WILL break him. Or I will sure try! The girls were fine. C has watched her big brother for a long time, and I think she was the most responsive. Little I was adorable, and so was her friend M. They were the unexpected factors. M was a little shy, and so she participated for about half the class. "I" was a little bit of a run around and would go to Mommy or Daddy at one point, but once she got more absorbed she participated well, considering she's three. I think one of my big successes was bringing back something like learned at the My Gym that Drew used to go to, and would use the following: Spy Goggles and Listening Ears. When I wanted to make sure their eyes and ears were on me, I'd say, "Does everyone have their spy goggles and listening ears on?" and motion at my eyes and ears, and I'd see I had their attention. I actually went a pinch over time since I was able to cover just about everything. But I got a good reception from the parents, and it looks like "I"'s mom is going to sign her up next week. Sweet! Even the parents who had older children seemed happy with how class went. As you can imagine, I was quite relieved. I survived my first teaching experience and have lived to tell about it! Now that I'm over those first time jitters, I have some ideas on how to take the kids to the next step.

So...in a sense, I've earned my red collar, even though you start out with that. But I'm one step closer to my red/black color. Sweet.

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