Wednesday, February 19, 2014

To NECCA I go: Teacher training workshop, part 3

Day three was the big Sample Class day. For a lot of people it was probably no big deal. As I've said before there are a lot of people at the workshop who already teach, but I'll admit I was kind of nervous. Or, maybe not so much nervous as worried I wouldn't do well. Does that make sense? Is there a difference? I think so.

When I'm nervous I get all gittery, I feel like I need to pee constantly, and my mouth goes dry. Last night I was reasonably calm, but I was worried about how I would do. Would I be able to speak clearly? Would I be able to demonstrate effectively what the students were to do? Could I successfully put those two together? Would I spot appropriately?

For the sample class we were placed into groups of three. Two people were to actively teach and support a 25 minute session on the fabrics, and two people were to actively teach and support a 25 minute session on the trapeze. The person left out would sit and observe (not to be the same person both times). Since I was the only one who had experience on both apparatus, I ended up participating in both, which was probably best for me since I have zero teaching experience.

I think our session went fairly well. We had three guys (one teen, and two in their early twenties) and they seemed to enjoy the whole thing. They thought it was cool to hang upside down and make poses, and they seem impressed with the few skills we demonstrated. Interestingly none of them seems to think twice about using my knee as a stepping tool up to both the silks and the trapeze. I got through my explanations reasonably smoothly, although I probably talked more than necessary, and faster too, but I think I made sense. So, go me? But I still need more practice, practice, practice.


We were asked to think about our teaching habits. Words and phrases we use repetitively, gestures, etc. One brief session isn't enough for me to pin-point these behaviours yet, but as I wrote above, I suspect I issued more words from my mouth than necessary, and at-a-faster-than-optimal-for- comprehension (see what I did there?). Words come out of my mouth quicker than I can make sense of sometime, and it's probably the same for others. If I continue onto the certification program (which I hope to) I'll have to video tape myself teaching, then critique it. It's painful to watch myself in these types of situations (I had to do it for a class in my Masters), but I'm sure it will do wonders for identifying areas of my teaching that require improvement.


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