Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by toothlesstiger, Dec 17, 2012.
<sigh> Anyone who can't handle kids is not qualified to interact with adults, either.
Very true. It's two entirely different things. I do both, when I taught skating and teaching public programming for museums. It takes a very different mindset to teach children, especially physical activities. (Even different AGES of kids--I prefer little ones and high schoolers. Grades 4-8, I would happily live without.) Just because someone isn't comfortable or adept at dealing with children does not mean that they can't deal with adults. Or vice-versa. Some people are better teaching children than adults.
We're going to have to agree to disagree here. The only difference in my experience between adults and children is in quantity, not quality.
Agree to disagree? You are incorrect. Adults and children learn very differently. Children process information very differently. Children cannot handle decisions the same way adults can.
Everyone knows the frontal cortex isn't fully developed until the early 20s. Children may seem manipulative, but that can be for a plethora of different reasons including the fact that children just may not understand that their behavior is wrong. Someone can be a phenomenal teacher for adults, but should never be in a position to teach children. Handling children and handling adults are two very different things.
Speaking of terrible students. I have a habitual late comer for my lessons that's beginning to grate on me. He's a nice guy, but he's always 20 minutes late. He takes lessons with another student of mine and she is always on time. I'm not really sure how to approach this situation. I've already told him he has to come on time. Aside from that.... I can't really "fire" him.
I didn't say teaching. I said handling. I am very well aware that children learn differently than adults do. I have children that I have taught many things, and I have taught adults. Each person I teach requires something a little different.
I also find that in dealing with adults there is almost always some area of their personality where they are quite childish. And the more I interact with someone, the more likely I am to hit their childish patch. And the big PITA is that in addition to using everything I've learned in dealing with kids, I have to do it in such a way that they can't tell they are being "handled", lest they feel I'm condescending.
Not trying to claim I am perfect, either. I'm sure I've got my childish patches, too, just nobody has called me out on them.
I have to ponder my reaction to the initial post for a bit before I respond.
In response to the last post, yes, I find that there are things about teaching adults that are a lot like teaching children or (worse yet) herding cats. lol. I also find that the classes in which I have the most success are the ones in which I make things as close to kindergarten as possible -- coloring, sorting, tic-tac-toe, candy for rewards, etc.
What's the big deal? If the girl is there on time, you start the lesson. He gets there when he gets there, and he misses whatever time he's late by. The girl gets bonus private work.
Having trouble understanding what you mean in your original post, toothless... Are you writing off adults who don't have the patience to deal with kids?
I don't think it's necessarily just a matter of patience, although that does figure into it, IMO.
In one of my recent training classes, I had an interaction I'll never forget.
Student: What if [blah] happens?
Me: It's very unlikely to happen. We only have x hours to cover the material, so it's not a good idea to spend a lot of time on [blah.] If it happens, ask somebody with more experience.
Student: But what if [blah] happens?
Me: It's not going to, or at least the probability is very, very small. In all the time I've been here, [blah] has happened once. That makes it literally a one in a million chance it will happen. Don't sweat it.
Student: But what if [blah] happens?
Honest to goodness I had this conversation with a woman ten years older than I am and that's pretty damn old lol. Patience is required, IMO, no matter who you're teaching.
I have more I want to add, but I have to leave for work. I'll be back.
You're right, maybe it's just a big deal in my head.
Depends what you mean by "handle," I think. Some people are better with kids than adults, or vice versa. No shame in that.
Nonetheless, I'm inherently suspicious of anyone who treats children as almost an entirely different species than adults. Some people talk down to kids so much it's ridiculous. Most kids are smarter and understand more than a lot of adults realize.
As far as learning among kids vs. adults: I wouldn't over-generalize. There is a ton of variation within the kid population and within the adult population. My 10-yr-old child has easily more focus, concentration, and ability to stay on task than many of my college students...to the point where if you talk to her when she's reading, she may not even hear that you spoke. (This can be annoying when what you said is "Get your shoes and coat on. We're leaving in 5 minutes.") She obviously has less life experience than an adult, but she's not stupid.
I think actually kids are a lot smarter than is expected, for sure. The issue is how they learn, vs adults. It is very different and the results need to be approached in a different way with folks under 18.
I don't quite think the original statement was anywhere near "how kids learn"... it really was fired at the qualification level of adults that have a hard time coordinating experiences with children.
Since when did "managing kids" become a qualification, if not a requirement, towards ones right or ability to interact with the rest of the world?
I am not sure if I understand your statement correctly. You said that "you have children that you taught..." are you implying that they are your own children and you're comparing teaching them with teaching some adults who aren't related to you? Teaching your own kids is rather different than teaching kids who aren't related to you and who might not even want to be there.
Agreed. I have never been able to connect with children. I have always done better interacting with people my own age or older. I think it's just the way my personality is wired, it is easier for adults to relate to than children.
Not that I necessarily succeed with every single adult I come into contact with, but the overall success ratio is substantially higher.
ok Toothlesstiger, I'll bite. What prompted your statement, it didn't just come out of the blue with a bolt of lightning.
I wasn't one of those women who grew up knowing that I was supposed to love children and have some sort of innate capacity for interacting with them...having said that, I was willing to put aside my discomfort and find out...and what I have learned, both from having my own children and from teaching various ages of children between the ages of 7 and 13 is that kids need two main things; structure (because even if they don't admit it, they know they are kids and don't have it all figured out...and, therefore find structure comforting), and respect (if you are going to ask a lot of them they need to sense that you see their value)...they sense the inherent injustice of the absence of that.... obviously many adults need this as well, but with kids, they count on and expect adults to be adults and their behavior will be decidedly more erratic if the adults with whom they most come into contact abdicate that responsibility....that is really the only major difference that I see..
I taught Montessori upper elementary ( 6 - 9 year old) for a while. Now I teach adults. My take, FWIW, is that it's like a Venn diagram. The skill set for teaching kids has a large area of overlap with the skill set for teaching adults, BUT each area has skills requirements that are unique. As CCM said, there's no shame in being on one side of the Venn diagram versus the other. My $0.02.
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