I know you
want to be the best sensei/sifu/teacher that your students have ever seen!
MAYBE you even have a teaching degree. So you got your black belt, your
teaching degree, and off you go into the dojo with all those adorable, perfect little
But what if
your students are limited?
because of a pre-existing condition, illnesses or a body issue?
I’d like to
discuss the three most common types of ‘different’-students I’ve come across so
lack of fine motor skills
How to teach students with illnesses and/or pre-existing conditions
I have the
black belt, and a degree in teaching karate, but guess what. Neither of them prepared me for
teaching children who have autism, who lack fine motor skills or have ADHD.
Those are kids, who need a different approach. You can’t expect them to
do the same as your other students because they aren’t wired the same way.
Students with exercise-induced-astma
having a good time, you start enthusiastically running around, keeping up with
everyone and *wheeeeeze* - no air.
To help your students, you need to understand a little bit of what they’re up against.
What is exercise-induced-astma?
Great amounts of air need to flow close to the mucous
membranes during exercise. With exercise-induced-astma, the air dries out and
irritates those mucous membranes, which triggers an astma attack with shortness
Most people get an inhaler. It calms the mucous membranes.
So what can YOU do,
You have a
major part in this. First off, recognize the signs of an attack:
Pain on the
chest (not always the case)
that, exercise-induced-astma is triggered even faster if you start exercising quickly and suddenly. So going from
‘Hi, welcome students!’
10 ROUNDS AND GIVE ME 3000 PUSH-UPS!’
not your best idea. Have a gradual build up with variation in it,
triggering different parts of the body.
Is the student familiar with their condition? This is your chance to change things. Go up to them and talk to them before class.
Encourage your student to, when faced with the start of the attack, go just a
little bit further. Running laps? “Just do 1 more lap. Just one okay? Then take
Push their boundaries.
Slowly, but surely!
Less- or lack of fine motor skills - dyspraxia
Karate promotes balance and fine motor skills and is actually a very good sport/martial art for this group.
What does it mean?
It shows differenteffects with everyone. There are a number of symptoms:
little control over their own strength
stopping at an exact moment is hard
hard time understanding an explanation (visually or not)
of the body is hard, a.k.a having stiff movements
more boys than girls with this, and often it’s combined with ADHD or Asperger’s syndrome.
So how can YOU help,
is tricky, because they are very diverse. No student will have the
There are many exercises that include balance,
coordination and or strength. There also a ton of games that include those
things for children. Extra balance and coordination exercises will benefit them
As far as
teaching goes: be patient and to the point.
explanations, separating speech from visuals. Explain your intentions first,
then show them what to do (without speech) and then maybe speak again or verify
if they understood you.
them and make them understand that even though it might take them a little
longer, they are doing well.
They probably get confronted with their issues
every time they have P.E. or play with their friends. It will discourage them from doing anything if they just get put down because of their lack of skill.
They know they’re not doing as well as the others. Don’t expect the
same thing from them on a belt grading as the other kids, if they get the
core principles right, open hands or a foot pointing outwards is nothing compared to the joy the martial art brings. There are more possibilities, if you are willing to see them.
been an increasing and well-known problem over the last 10 years.
What are the problems of being overweight during
overall weak / self-esteem problems
Please bear in mind that I’m
talking about being overweight, not obese or morbidly obese.
Well Sensei, what can YOU do?
all, realize the fact that their body is working really hard, every day.
Carrying around all that weight is a heavy job for the body, especially the
knees, ankles and feet. Overweight people are likely to be very self-conscious
and reluctant to go through all that pain of running and power exercises.
encourage and adapt. If they can’t run anymore, encourage them to keep walking
Power exercises? Make them push-up on their knees and make sure that no one
shames them for it. Sit-ups? Lay down, bend the knees and encourage them to
touch their knees. Squats? Don’t bend down too deep and vary with wide and small
stances. Fight their urge to give up and give in to the negative thoughts.
make them stretch. Sounds weird? Stretching allows you to get small results in a short amount of time. They might hate it at first,
but it will give them their first results quickly and it’ll ease the muscle pain a little.
That’s it for now! Are there any type of students that you wonder about? Please let me know and I’ll put in my two cents!
SURPRISE! I WAS A FAT KID WITH EXERCISE-INDUCED-ASTMA
this article, I realized I hit two out of three there. I was diagnosed with
exercise-induced-astma a few months after I started karate. Because of the astma I knew when I hit
the barrier and was supposed to stop and use the inhaler. That stopped me
from pushing boundaries and when puberty hit I was well… a fat teen with
glasses, braces, allergies AND exercise-induced-astma. I really hit the jackpot didn’t I?
was a tipping point.
When I was
15, 5 years after the diagnose. I had a ruthless Sensei who tormented the whole
group with his harsh warm-ups (of an hour.. ) and ‘breaking-you-will-build-you’
After observing me die a little every lesson with the 15 minute
running laps he came up to me and said: “Tirza,
you know what you should do? Every time you feel like you can’t go on anymore,
do one more lap.”
I was dying, as usual, but right at the moment that I was slowing down, ready
to walk, I heard my Sensei yell from across the dojo: “ONE MORE LAP TIRZA.” And so I
did one more lap, coughing, wheezing, regretting my existence every step.
dying again, doing one more lap, dragging my butt to the inhaler: “COME ON
TIRZA TRY JUST A BIT FURTHER!”
This continued, until he saw that I was pushing my own boundaries without his help. It was… no fun. It was painful, my
lungs CRIED and still cry a little thinking of him. But I am so very grateful.
Nowadays, my stamina still isn’t great. I’ll never be a runner but I don’t have astma anymore. I haven’t used an
inhaler for 10 years!
underestimate the scar that illnesses or (small) conditions like astma affect your mind.
I didn’t throw away my inhaler until last year.
I’m doing a pathology paper for class on retroviral treatments of HIV and I’m remembering, as I often do, my “let’s learn how to do public speaking” project that I did on HIV/AIDS in 8th grade. My English teacher begrudgingly allowed me to present that topic on the condition that I not mention homosexuality and homosexual behavior. I mentioned homosexuality and homosexual behavior. She took me aside after class to tell me at length what trouble I could get in if any parents complained.
And that cowardly tepid bullshit “now I’M not offended but OTHER PEOPLE might be so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ you can talk about the AIDS crisis but leave out all the gay bits” is probably the best thing a teacher ever did to me as I’ve made sure that every academic presentation I’ve given since has been one that would make that asshole uncomfortable, anyway back to this essay that she would fucking hate
“Class we have a new student today. This is Mary Queen, please be sure to make her feel welcome.” Felicity directed Mary to an empty desk near her own. She wanted to keep an eye on the little girl, it was hard being the new kid.
Felicity watched the pale girl, in the pretty dress make her way to her desk. She could see someone had tried hard to put her hair in a nice braid but the pieces of hair were already trying to break free. Mary took her seat and placed her face on her hands looking up. She really did have big beautiful blue eyes and right now they were filled with fear but she was trying to put on a brave face.
Felicity had been teaching the second grade for five years but she felt like she’d gotten pretty good at reading her kids and Mary was nervous. Felicity knew that Mary moved to Starling City with her Dad, no Mom in the picture. Felicity didn’t know her story yet but she was now in her class so she would do her best to help her adjust.
Just before the end of the day, Felicity got an email saying that Mary’s father had contacted the school saying he would be a couple of minutes late. She waited until the bell signaling the end of the day rang and stopped Mary on her way out the door.
It was a beautiful day, you thought…the first signs of a London autumn making themselves known. Mornings carried a damp chill, leaves were painting a vivid picture in the trees and askew across the ground, and warm clothing felt comfortable against the cooler winds. You loved this time of year…it was definitely a beautiful day!
Sipping the hot drink you purchased from a local sidewalk vendor near your building, you enjoyed your day off from work, peeking in the little boutiques and shops you passed, and picking up a few things from your local grocery. You smiled and chatted with a friendly stranger or two, walking around the little neighborhood you called home.
As you made your way around a lovely park where you occasionally took a book to read, you stopped on a wooden foot bridge to look out over a tiny pond which sat only a few yards from a beautiful cemetery. It was strange to think of a cemetery as beautiful, but this one was. Large, gorgeous trees that were in full autumnal beauty, flowers everywhere…the most unusual but lovely cemetery you had ever seen. You stood looking out over the beauty mixed with grave markers until a cold chill in the air sent you back toward your flat. You took a deep breath, and soon found your way back into your apartment, snuggled under a blanket, sipping the end of your drink.
I read asks and stuff about teachers being terrified of teenagers/teaching highschool. Honestly wtf are y'all terrified about. Im barely 20 now but seriously we're not rabid
Uhhh I still get nervous for the first week of school teaching 4th graders, and they’re tiny. My dad has been teaching high school for 26 years and he does, too. Feelings are feelings, even when you’re a pro.
Slowly starting to get into school mode. I still have like 3 weeks, but I want to pre-plan a lot before school starts, I am excited about 1st grade and I will have a new teacher I am team teaching with so I am looking forward to see how that will go.
I bought SO MUCH over the summer so I plan on taking it in soon because it is taking up so much room in my closet. I am very excited about getting my room together because I have a new room that is a blank canvas.
AND I am starting my 5th year…where does the time go?! I feel like it was just yesterday that it was my first year teaching where I was crying every day. Sometimes I go back and read those posts and remember how difficult it was and how much I have grown. My growth is thanks to you guys though. <3
Had my first day of preplanning! Met a lot of people and remember few names haha. Got my school laptop, got my roster!!! As of right now I have 23 kids :) I wanted to print their name cards but ugh of course the internet is down. Right now I’m using up data :P ummm I painted a bookshelf and have to seal it tomorrow. Put a few things up on my wall. Lowered a few desks and need to get more of that done tomorrow.
I have to go to two PD sessions tomorrow before I can work on my room. Here’s hoping for learning of good info then speedy work on my room 😊
Oh and I read two books over the past two days. Both third/fourth grade level lol but still.