Tuesday, November 20, 2007

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The Hunt Prep ...

I have more teaching strategies than marbles in my marble collection. Many of them have evolved out of special circumstances or situations in which I had to find a creative way to impart a specific skill to a specific group of people.; but sometimes, I tend to overdo things when dealing with ordinary people, under ordinary circumstances. One of the simplest and most powerful communication models that I have come up with for getting ordinary people to do extraordinary things I call the Hunt prep approach.

It goes like this:
I imagine that we are all about to head off together and I need to prepare the group for the hunt. First, I give them the ‘lay of the land’. I tell them where we are going. I let them know we’ll be heading through the pass and then travelling along the west side of the valley. I let them know we’ll probably be crossing a couple of streams along the way. I tell them what to expect. The walking will be easy, but some of the stream crossings will be difficult and we’ll need to work in pairs. Then I tell them what I expect them to do. I clearly outline their tasks. This group will be carrying the gear; that group will be throwing the spears, etc. Finally, I like to let them know the kinds of things that will most likely happen; so there will be fewer surprises and therefore fewer distractions along the way. I tell them what they will notice. You will notice the water flows will be strong this time of year; that’s okay, etc.

Hunt Prep 101

- Here’s what we are going to do (give them the overview)
- Here’s what you can expect as we try this (prepare them)
- Here’s how we are going to do it (give them their tasks)
- Here’s what I want you to notice (this will happen)

I have often been guilty of over-teaching; of laying out too much detail, too early, for students who are not ready for that level of instruction. On those occasions, the first symptom that the class wasn’t going as well as I had hoped was always the same: FRUSTRATION. Frustration for me, and frustration for the students. Now, when I see that symptom appear, I usually try to dial it back; take a simpler (and in those circumstances) more effective approach by going into Hunt Prep 101 mode.

Sometimes, simple is good. Don’t misunderstand though, I like to have my student’s develop a technical mindset and technical learning habits; but sometimes, when we want them to slow down, we don’t need to explain all the reasons why it is good to slow down; we just need to show them a big sign that says SLOW DOWN – in big clear letters.

JBW 2007

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1 Comments

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justin 7:40 am

John-
Justin Ray from quantum-I'm reading "Rouge Black Belt" and had ? I didn't want to blog. quantumjustin@hotmail.com
Thankyou, for your time in and out of the dojo.
Justinl

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