The other day I was teaching a class and one of my excitable boy students was starting to get distracted and out of control. Not a malicious bone in his body, just having more fun not following the rules than following them. Only a psycho coach would take this personal, but its my job to protect the learning environment of all students so I gave him a couple warnings, then eventually made him put on his shoes and watch the rest of the class.
The class as a whole starting going way better. We learned some new moves and played some games. I’m sad the boy who was being a bit rowdy missed the training, but he didn’t miss the lesson.
Its a common teacher mistake to think that just because a student has to sit out that they didn’t learn something. Yes, this boy didn’t get to learn the Jiu Jitsu I really wanted him to learn that day, but he received a micro dose of boundaries.
Younger me would have felt like a failure for not being able to control or re-direct this kids attention. And there is always room for growth as a teacher. But at his age, one of the most valuable lessons he can learn is that other people’s limits and wishes matter just like his own.
I’m an adult teaching his class, but I still have my limits of what is ok and what isn’t. Teaching a class with a kid who is not showing respect for the group makes me feel bad and I can choose to not tolerate it.
Boundaries is a true art form. And the practice of it never goes away. Its a daily habit, and we have an obligation as teachers to help kids learn that their choices don’t exist in a vacuum but are at all times setting off reactions in other people.
Kids don’t know this on their own, they have to learn it. It takes a life time, its best to start the education now.