Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Basic Skills class

I've been teaching Basic Skills skating to kids on Wednesday evenings this fall through Winter Club. (Many skaters join clubs; it can be a cheaper way to get ice time, and it's your link to USFS.)

I teach Basic 4, which consists of forward edges on a circle (inside and outside), forward crossovers in both directions, backward stroking and glides on one foot, back snowplow stops, backward pumping on a circle, and forward outside three turns (left and right).

Teaching is extraordinarily difficult. Now, I have never been under the impression that it wasn't, and I'm not a natural teacher, but I've really been having trouble explaining some of this stuff to the kids. Unlike me, they don't ask questions during class, and sometimes I can't figure out what they're doing wrong or what they need to know.

The kids have been interesting. I have a little girl who's about nine who doesn't talk much and two girls who are both about twelve who are friends and like to push each other around. One of them is really happy and enthusiastic and the other one is a little quieter. No-Talker Girl is very focused, and she's been having a hard time with three turns. The other two like three turns quite a bit and picked them up more quickly -- for them, it's just a matter of learning a little more body control.

I'm happy to say that all three of them passed my level last week! One of them even gave me a hug. No one is ready to move up into my level next week, so I'll be helping to teach the adults, which I find much easier.

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