I want to talk about what we, as teachers, gain from having a kid’s program at the school. This is not to discount the gains that the kids themselves make from training. They make huge strides in their problem solving skills, athleticism, martial skill sets, and awareness. The kids get amazing benefits from training… likewise, the adults who teach them get amazing benefits.
Teaching kids class will help your triage skills. You must, as a teacher, learn to let go of small infractions and tend only to the things that are going to cause actual problems. If you shout at every child who looks down at the floor while punching, many of the students will give up. Instead, it pays to casually mention to the whole group “look forward when you’re punching”.
Teaching kids class will build your patience. Many children lack basic social skills and listening skills when they enter class. Not only do you have to be patient with them comprehending a roundhouse kick but you also have to help them figure out how to work with other students who they don’t know. The reward, as a teacher, is when after months of classes, the child who used to stare at the ceiling and wait for someone to pick them as a partner instead runs confidently and finds someone on their own.
There are many more benefits but the point is this: many martial artists that end up teaching classes think that teaching kids class is a waste of their time. It’s not. Teaching kids will make you better at teaching adults. I know when I started teaching, I had no interest in teaching kids. Now it is hard for me to calculate how much better my teaching skills are because of running a kids program.