Saturday, April 17, 2010

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Sticky Lessons


Some lessons are stickier than others.
In a coaching role, particularly if I am in a one-on-one situation, rather than just digging into my bag of tricks and pulling out a swag of random techniques, I try to identify those technical points that will give the student the biggest bang for their buck. There are certain principles, ideas, strategies and techniques that at a given time are of most benefit to the student. It has been my experience that as a teacher, when I identify the right lesson for the student, it really, really sticks; this usually means their ‘game’ is really, really, ready for that particular lesson. I have been on the receiving end of many a sticky lesson myself; and it is after these kind of lessons that my understanding, game or performance has taken a significant jump.
I can quite often deliver sticky lessons to large groups of students also; but this takes a little preparation at the beginning of the class. I have to get everyone on the same page to build in some connecting or docking points so the lesson has somewhere to stick; it’s not just a matter of pre-framing, but more a kind of accelerated building of a common foundation for a specific topic – then when everyone is there and they both feel and understand how that foundation connects to and is related to their game, then I can begin the sticky lesson.
PS: Sometimes, this doesn’t work for 100% of the class – if I can hit it with 80-90% of the class, I feel I have succeeded. Those I fail to reach in a deep and meaningful way, still get good technique and information that they can store away for a time when they build their own sticky connectors that can accept the info I was trying to deliver.
Time to head off to the mat and try and deliver another sticky lesson …
Best wishes all
JBW

Another thought:

People pay for professional instruction. They pay with money and they pay in the giving of their time. Understanding that people are spending the very precious moments of their lives in trade for what we have to offer, goes to the very heart of what it means to be a fully engaged teacher or professional instructor. If the student is present, so should the teacher be

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1 Comments

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Wonderfully put. Wish this concept was more widely understood by all teachers.

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