My son is a candidate belt in Tae Kwon Do, putting him one belt away from black. I enjoy watching his classes, not just because it’s fun to watch him grow his physical skills and prowess, but also because the owner, who is one of the primary instructors of the kids, is a gifted teacher and I learn a lot about teaching from watching her.
Here’s are some of the things she does really well that any teacher could learn from.
She beams with pride at the accomplishments of her students. This involves two pieces: first, put learners in a position to demonstrate growth, then feeling those successes as if they were your own.
She’s both firm and quiet; she inspires respect without ever raising her voice. Sure, this is a lot easier with students who are there purely voluntarily, but this is more than that. She’s so focused while teaching, so inspiringly in the moment, that even the smallest children stay absorbed throughout class.
She’s humble. Last week one student mispronounced a Korean phrase in a way that produced some giggling. She calmly and warmly pointed out that English wasn’t her first language so she knows it is natural to make mistakes with a new language. The important part is to try.
But most of all, she clearly enjoys being there. Learners will work harder for teachers who show genuine joy from teaching. This is such an important part of being a successful teacher.