My wife and I don't have any children. It was a combination of choice and circumstance and we're pretty okay with it. She was a teacher for twenty plus years and acts as a Doula on occasion so she has enjoyed young people around her over the years. As I've mentioned in past posts, I'm not much of a child person. As such, my old teacher made sure that I had to teach kids classes for a stretch. I'm not sure if that was a practical joke on his part or just helping with the whole teaching process. Maybe both.
In my current school the classes can be incredibly small, so Reed Sensei can cycle through each student and give them individual attention. However, the class can get just big enough that we should either all be doing the same thing to make it manageable or break into groups with separate teachers. In the second scenario, available black belts will act as the extra teachers.
We have a new young fellow (maybe six) named Everett. He is enthusiastic, but not saddled with hyperactivity like so many others that have passed through. Reed had me work with him on C-steps, downward blocks and punches. He did pretty well with that so Reed had him work on the very first kata, which is just downward block and punch. I was excused to work on my kata, but kept a vague eye on his interaction with Reed.
Reed exudes some kind of vibe that makes people pay attention and it works with all ages. It's like earnestness combined with a laser focus, but it doesn't feel so intense that it's weird, but it helps you/me pay attention. Anyway, he was working with Everett and then moved on. The instruction was just to do the beginning of the first kata and repeat that over and over.
After I got through most of my long kata I noticed that Everett was pretty much in the same place, but I heard some tears gearing up. The two girls we have in class looked a little disoriented; unsure of what to do. I finally went over and had a bit a chat.
The weird part of this interchange was that I would normally hate this kind of thing, but I was drawn to figure out what was causing the problem. After a few minutes I found out that he was upset because he forgot what he was supposed to do. After I got him somewhat calm I pointed out that we all forgot, but that's why we practice. So I worked with him until he relaxed.
At the end of his class his Dad says, "well, I was going to buy a gi, but I guess we'll see if he wants to come back next time." Well said Dad.
After class was short for me. I had a dinner with the neighbors so I could only get in about 30 minutes. I worked mostly with Daniel Sensei and things went fairly well. I got to work with Reed for about five minutes; specifically on removing what he calls "quarter movements". These are the pieces where hands or hips move not in relation to what's going on. I've had a problem with this in the kata, but hadn't put that in context with the application. More to focus on!