Coaching Camp and Exams. Part IV
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Saturday, August 16, 2008 08:03 PM
On Saturday I had to teach 3 students. For my lesson I was given only 20 minutes. These 20 minutes included introduction, explanation, demonstration, actual practice and conclusion. My lesson subject was given to me on the first day of the camp - Simple change of lead through trot. I have practiced teaching it for my evaluation. I had to write a complete lesson plan for an hour lesson using the NCCP standards and present it before I start teaching. I have spent 2 hours Friday night making a final copy of my lesson plan. I knew what to say I just needed to organize and write it down. Because I was in a hotel and we had only a notebook computer with us I couldn't print my lesson plan I wrote it by hand. It took 4 pages :)) I used mental visualization and timed myself rehearsing in my head. That was a good idea because I had to change wording and emphasis to shorten my explanation otherwise it took too long. All in all I felt prepared when I fell asleep on Friday night.
On Saturday morning I have realized that I'm nervous when I felt sick to my stomach coming closer and closer to the barn. It was a strange feeling. My head was calm and clear but my stomach was full of squirming creatures of unknown origin :) I was first to teach and felt very lucky about that. I knew when I get inside the ring and start working with the students I will be fine. Before I started I have checked safety issues such as closed gates, loose jumping caps, etc. Other candidates helped me to move jumps around so I have a clear room for my exercise. Introduction was brief. I checked girl's tack and started explaining the subject of our lesson. Explanation included what, why, how, where, when and who. For the demonstration I drew a picture on the sand - diagonal with simple change and articulated important moments and points of the exercise. When girls started riding I forgot I'm doing a test. I simply worked with them on ongoing issues they were having such as not enough impulsion, running on the diagonal, leaning too much forward, constant kicking with the legs, etc. After two runs of the exercise I was told to rap up my lesson. Girls improved on the second run, I pointed out what was good, what they need to work on and why it is important for them as jumper riders.
When I came up to the examinator's booth I was expecting questions about my teaching. There was no questions for me only two requests:
  • Examinators wanted to keep my lesson plan and use it as an example for the future candidates.
  • I was told that I'm a wonderful teacher and I should establish a student base and get on with my education to become a Level 2 English Coach because the Coaching program needs coaches like me.
These two requests and praise that I received was the most gratifying experience I had for a long time. I know my students recognize my work and that is very important to me. However, recognition from the peers of such experience who are themselves are wonderful teachers (I know I had lessons from them) gave me extra boost :)
I would like to thank my students for believing in me and letting me polish my teaching skills over the last year. I couldn't have done it without them.
Happy riding...
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