I was reminded at our last pool session of the most important part of teaching, and that is to pay attention to what we are teaching or I should say who.
When I go into a class as the coach I prepare myself with a syllabus and a few key points that I believe would be beneficial to my students. I always make it a point to listen to the needs of my students but sometimes I get caught up in my agenda.
This past session a young man really drove home the point that the syllabus is in the students not in my lesson plan and that all I need to do is draw it out of my students. I had a plan of clever games and exercises for him to do, when it came to the class his needs were really just to be comfortable in the pool surrounded by a bunch of crazy adults messing about in small boats. For a young boy he was probably fairly intimidated just by the fact that he was the only kid. My plan was to try and teach him kayaking what he needed to learn and what we ended up doing was learning how to be comfortable learning how to just be in a boat and how to relax to the point where learning can take place while being the only kid in the pool.
In retrospect the whole lesson might have been more valuable to me than him.
Thank you Andrew you are a great teacher.