Teaching Undisciplined Kids

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Teaching Undisciplined Kids

  • Blake Roeder

    I am a dance teacher with a lot experience and expertise in the field, and I find myself constantly surrounded by children who have no discipline, motivation, focus, or attention span to dig in and learn.

    It seems to me that the problem is bad diet, bad parenting, and I run into a brick wall not knowing what to do.  Is it reasonable to think that I, having most of the dance students for 1 or 2 hours per week, can have any effect on their development of intellect and physical intelligence?

    Can I really do anything about it, or should I just take whatever I can get and hope they decide to want to learn a skill sometime in the future?

     

    I hope this isn’t too vague, I just would like advice on how to spur interest, especially in a subject that is extremely hard to learn.  Dance takes years and years of practice and focused attention to master, and even then the constantly shifting and developing body changes the course, presenting ever more new challenges.  How do you get the child to appreciate the journey?

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  • Mike Reid

    Yick. Bad diet and bad parenting can give kids a rough start in life. And that can really turn your teaching experience into an ugly grind. But maybe

    1. Through your own demonstrated skill and joy in dancing, you can (and probably already do) inspire interest in some of the kids.

    2. If you could create an “advanced” class for kids who pay enough attention to learn the basics, then you maybe you could cultivate a cadre of kids who are actually focused. That may be wonderful and fulfilling on its own, and it may help lower-level kids to have an example they can aspire to.

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    Zain D

    Try to let your passion and dedication take centre-stage during your classes. Sometimes students just don’t know what they are passionate about until they see it in others. The ones with whom your passion resonates will stick around and get better.

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    Dawn Hoff

    I would make sure that the kids are there because they want to and not because the parents want them to. And then tell them as it is – in your classes you dance, not talk – talk is for the locker room afterwards (that was the rule when I used to dance). I know unschooled kids who are tired of their schooled peers bc. they chatter classes away – be it dance or anything else. The problem is that kids are force to be in school all day, many of them don’t like it, and the attitude carries over into their voluntary activities.

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    Bruce Koerber

    One suggestion: For each age group (or level of maturity) find someone who is willing to develop great skills and then nurture them as a mentor of the undisciplined ones. you and the mentors and the undisciplined will all greatly benefit from this process.

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