Okay, the other day I asked for some teaching tips for the kids with which I worked a few weeks ago. I was sick last week so I couldn't help teach, but I did last night. Ended up with a different group of children. They were a much easier group to work with - until...
A green belt and I were working with 5 kids. The green belt could see how much trouble one little girl was having - holding up the rest of the kids because we had to guide her step by step on every single move we made. So, she asked me if I wanted to take that girl and another promising little boy who just had not learned the entire kata yet or if I wanted the kids who already knew it. I could see the look in her eyes, hoping I'd take the two kids.
This little girl just doesn't seem to "get it". And I don't know what could be the cause of it. She is extremely - make that EXTREMELY - shy. She barely speaks. When you talk to her, she doesn't seem to understand what you're saying. That in and of itself is not as much the problem as the fact that she seems "directionally challenged" - if there is such a condition. When I showed her how to do our "Basic Number 1" kata, I had to break it down step-by-step and explain each step over and over. Again, I expect that with any newcomer (which she is not). But when I stand right next to her and do it with her, showing her each detail of each move, she still doesn't grasp it. The biggest problem seems to be her confusion in direction of movement. When I show her the direction to turn in the kata, giving her tidbits to help remind her which way to go, it does not register with her. When I take her shoulders and start the correct direction of movement, as soon as I let go, she goes the other way. I just don't understand it. I am almost wondering if she may be dyslexic. Could that be it? Have any of you ever tried to teach someone like this?
As I said, this is not a new student. She has been with us about 2 sessions I think. Granted, we have plenty of instructors for most classes, but even working with her one-on-one doesn't seem to improve her excecution of katas or even basic kicks and punches. And the time it takes away from the other students is not fair either.
I might talk to her mother next week and just mention that she doesn't seem to be getting it and maybe if she'd practice at home, it might help. I will probably ask our sensei to say something as I'm just a yellow belt helping with the kids' class. And one of our senseis is a special education teacher. She knows how to talk to parents when their children are just not getting it.
Anyway, if any of you have had students that just don't seem to get it no matter how many times you show them, guide them, tell them, etc. please tell me how you handled it.