Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Here is a fine " How do you do."

Last night I went to foil. Guess what I learned?  
 
 
 
 Give up?  
 
 
I am not sure I want to be a coach.  
 
I was given the task of leading a group in footwork.  I sucked...and I hated it. I did poorly.
 
I was given the task of working with a new little girl, who came on her first night. I did well..in fact I did very well. I know this. I also loved it.
 
I get no enjoyment from a classroom situation. How can you be good at anything if you cannot find the joy in it.
 
I am going to have to rethink this whole thing.                                                                                                    

3 comments:

warzonekos said...

Jim,

I know that many people have their opinion about us, me especially.  Know that you have my respect and that of our organization because you have gone and made the sacrifice.  In your journey to teach people to fence understand you are not going to always feel as though you are doing the best that can be done.  As it was said in batman begins "Bruce why do we fall, so that we can learn how to get back up".  Twenty years ago when I started teaching I know that I wasn't the best teacher of fencing.  Hell, after 20 years I know that I am still not the best, and because of this I work on my technique everyday because people come to me and seek knowledge.

They trust us to give them the best we got.  If you are doing that, then there is no shame, no disappointment, and most importantly no regrets.  There are some people I know that oversell and under deliver.  In the time that I have gotten to know you, you don't strike me as that type of person.  Learning to teach fencing is a new a road as learning how to fence in the first place.  Enjoy the journey, and someday a student will come back to you and thank you for taking the time to show them something that you truly love and they will be thankful for that.  This is what makes it all worth while.  Good luck and never give up.

fencerkath said...

I trained as a teacher back in the 1980s and I gave some really bad classes.   Then one of my tutors asked, "Do you like your pupils?"

I'd focussed so much on what I was doing - and what I was doing wrong - as a teacher that I stopped caring about the students.   Once I started focussing on them - and working hard at liking even the most difficult ones - it all became a lot easier.

Another insight came from following a class of 14-year-olds round for a day.  It was amazing - there were arguments and running gags.  I knew before we entered the final sesson of the day that it would be chaotic, and it was.  But it was nothing to do with the teacher.  That taught me that the teacher is only one of the people in the room and sometimes the things that go wrong are nothing to do with the teacher.  (You know this from being coached, don't you?)

I teach university students nowadays and I'm not brilliant at it, though I have good sessions.  But I enjoy it and those two insights from years ago keep me going when things aren't as good as I'd like.

Oh, and sometimes a session that doesn't work too well is the one that produces the best result in the end, because the students take responsibility.

Good luck - and don't worry.  It will take a while before you know if this is for you. No-one is brilliant at teaching first time round.

shazna02 said...

Teaching people collectively and teaching people individually are two different animals.  I don't see why you can't focus on what you excell at.   I personally would have no interest in teaching group footwork - it's kinda of like WANTING to be a drill sarge - I'm sure someone wants to do it - but not me.  

Hope things work out as you keep trying coaching

Elizabeth