Sunday, August 12, 2012

Teaching Children

So, Saturday marked my last day at my job (swim teacher/lifegaurd) until I come home in December. That means that I had to bid all of my students farewell :(. So, in honor of all that I have learned from teaching, I have compiled Steffi's list of tricks to teach small children (in no particular order).
  • Get down to their level: kneel, sit or crawl so that you can look them in the eye.
  • Make them learn when they think it's only a game. This is the best learning. Kids love to play games.
  • Get creative. Use their imaginations.
  • Remember their names and things about them. This helps you bond with your students and gets them to trust you.
  • Talk to them. Ask them about their favorite colors and things to do.
  • Be happy. Laughter, fun and joy are all contagious.
  • Don't be afraid. Be calm. Don't show fear.
  • Be safe (duh).
  • Listen.
  • Mix it up. Repeat skills. Don't do the same exact thing weeek.
  • But don't mix it up too much. Routines are good, and they help kids remember.
  • Care about what you are doing. To you, this might be just a job. But little kids remember the little things. You are the difference between them dreading their lessons, or not being able to wait to get started. You make a difference in their lives.
As Gandhi says, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Sometimes baby steps are the way to start. Everyday, if you can put just one more smile in the world, the day has been a good one. Swimming lessons are a baby step. But maybe I have inspired a child to teach, to learn, to try something new or just made them happy. And that is something that makes my job worth it.

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