Teaching Experience

Hi everyone,

So I figure I had such a great experience yesterday, that I should write about it and get some input.

So as a new coach/teacher, I began coaching baton (with a mentor coach and an assistant) last year in Moose Jaw. It was a great experience and I learned a lot last year. This year, I have taken it on with more students, no assistant, and my mentor is letting me take most of the control. I had my first “on my own” lesson yesterday. Oh boy, it was very very exciting to be solely in charge. I had a few new students and few who were returning from last year. The first five minutes of class were the toughest – I had to talk about safety (when you have small children with steel pipes in their hand, things tend to become rather hazardous!), introduce myself, sort out attendance, talk about appropriate apparel for class – mostly just housekeeping things that needed to be said. Everyone looked up at me (well, some of them were almost as tall as me – being short is a slight disadvantage) eager to learn after my quick talk. So I just started. I had created a lesson plan before I left, which was a very good thing. Had I not, there would have been utter chaos. But I just jumped right in and the next thing I knew the lesson was almost over! So we had a quick water/bathroom break, learned a little bit more, and reviewed the day. Before they left, I sat them all down had handed out a tree’s worth of notes to take home for their parents to read/sign/etc. All in all, I felt it had been a pretty successful lesson, and in my opinion, one of the best lessons I had ever taught (all on my own, yay!).

So I was feeling pretty good about what had just taken place, when I realized why one of the girls who had been pretty focussed and calm until the water/bathroom break had suddenly become squirmy, unfocussed and refusing to be in the front row in the class (I rotate through rows regularly so everyone gets equal time in the front and back). It dawned on me that she was the one who asked for the bathroom break – and for a good reason. She’d wet herself. I didn’t notice until the end of class because she was wearing black pants. Now, I didn’t do anything. I didn’t want to draw attention to her because I didn’t want to embarrass her, but what should I tell the girls next week? I want to make it clear that it is okay for them to ask to go to the washroom and I will always say yes, especially in an emergancy, but I don’t want anyone to catch on as to why I’m telling them this. I really have no clue about how to go about this dilema. Any suggestions, or should I not say anything at all?

4 thoughts on “Teaching Experience

  1. A situation like that is difficult for someone to decide what they should do. One thing I do know is that the little girl would not have told anyone about the incident. In my point of view, you are probably better off to make a brief comment about washroom breaks in front of everyone, so that everyone will know that they can ask to go to the washroom in the future, and you will not have to single out the girl. No matter what you may choose to do it will probably cause some embarrassment to the little girl, but this way will probably cause the least amount of embarrassment.

  2. Well I don’t know exactly what you said in your opening talk but, if you didn’t say that it is ok for to ask to go to the bathroom, I would just quickly mention that it is ok.
    Don’t bring up that part of last week but do let them all know that it is ok to ask.

  3. One suggestion about what to do next class would be to just simply go over some of the rules that you did last week, and include mentioning that it is okay to ask to go to the bathroom. This might reinforce what you had previously said last week, and hopefully not embarrass the one girl.

    Good luck with your coaching!

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