Helicopter Teacher

I don’t have many opportunities when I get to experience being a student again. So, when I go to a gym class that’s when I’m reminded of what it feels like to be in that position again.

I went to a gym class today. I’ve been intensely working out the past few weeks at a different place, and I was met with an instructor I’d never met before. Now, instructors are, of course, meant to motivate you and help you better your technique. But this teacher WOULD NOT LEAVE ME ALONE. It was like he was a helicopter teacher.

Originally posted by gameraboy

For the first 15 minutes, he constantly made sure to come over to me, check on me, provide advice on how to fix my technique, made a few harmless jokes that displeased me etc.,

It left me feeling incredibly stupid. I felt as if he said, “Lift a dumbbell” and instead I kicked a soccer ball kindof dumb. Now, I have sense, and I know that he had good intentions, and I left the gym feeling fine. He’s not my cup of tea. Thankfully, I know that I am happy with where I am, and whenever I get to that next level, that’s when I’ll get there. I can navigate my life fine and choose to go to a different instructor.

Kids have no choice but to go to the same person again and again, be it someone they love or not. The experience reminded me to be mindful of how I choose to help a student. Some students are fine with some attention and guidance, but some feel uncomfortable with all of that focus on them–and even defeated.

A strategy I like to use is:

  • Flexible Grouping: a way of temporarily group kids together based on skills, interests, etc.,

I’d like to know:

What are some of your strategies to support struggling students without making them feel self conscious? How do you group kids?