Susan's Blog

Monday, November 5, 2007

Progress-Oh!

Trouble with the Baby Bellies is, I don’t know what progress is supposed to look like. I don’t know what my goals should be for them, or how to get them there, or how to judge if they are there. This is the same thing I felt about Nat, way back when he was first diagnosed. No one could tell me what he was capable of, what level he was in any area. I was to use my intuition, guided by knowledge, and decide for myself what approach worked and what did not.

That is a lot to put on a parent, but that is why when you sign on for that job, you’d better be a mensch, at least some of the time.

I signed on to be a bellydance teacher, and I want to be a bellydance teacher, but I have very little teaching experience. I am used to giving talks, lecturing, or else teaching my own children. Having an interactive class is new for me. I would like to become a better teacher.

The Baby Bellies are first and second grade, allegedly neurotypical. But I could not reach them today. I almost could not engage one of them at all, and another disappointed me by clowning a lot. I didn’t want to be too much of a firm presence because this is supposed to be optional for them, pure fun. But maybe next week I will be a bit more demanding because maybe they will find it more fun if they are made to focus and progress. Which brings me back to the beginning…

2 comments

Well good luck! NT 1st and 2nd graders drive me batty. I’ve been volunteering in my son’s class and the kids are so disrespectful and all around badly behaved. Sometimes being firmer helps although I understand how you want them to enjoy the class too. Let us know how it goes.

— added by mumkeepingsane on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 7:57 am

Thinking back to theater and “creative” classes I took as a much younger person…do you start the class with some sort of exercise/procedure to help (A) get rid of the fidgets and (B) get them focused on the dancing? (Or, maybe it’s more about getting them into the mood/mindset–maybe do a relaxation visualization about an exotic Casbah?) Even NT’s need transitions, especially at that age.

— added by Niksmom on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 8:23 am

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