Reaching for perfection is often a goal for many. From acing a test to putting on a perfect event we all want things to run smooth. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Our best laid plans fail. Things change without notice, or it all falls apart. What do we do? The ability to adapt and change is crucial to success.
If you’re a teacher, coach, instructor, or event planner you know this all too well. What makes you successful is not avoiding problems but being able to quickly overcome them when they arise. This is a skill in and of itself. The more you do the more experience and knowledge you gain in how to avoid trouble, but more importantly how to get past it.
When I teach I make a plan for each lesson. From the activities we’re going to do, to how I want the lesson to flow. It all works together. However, there is one variable you can’t always plan on. The students. The kids who show up to your event are all coming from different lives with any number of things going on. The key is recognizing different situations and being able to quick pivot to keep the lesson going.
I always try to learn from other teachers, instructors, and coaches. I don’t claim to know everything, and I can always improve what I do. While my kids were doing online teaching for their school, I learned a lot from watching and listening to them. Kindergarten online is fascinating to watch. Even more so because my son had a student teacher. There were times when you could really tell she was struggling, and the kids were struggling on a certain day. Sometimes the struggle came from her. I get she has things to cover, but there were clear times in her lessons where she lingered too long on a topic. You could see it in how the kids were reacting.
That’s a lesson that everyone can learn from. Recognizing when things need to move on is important. In addition, being able to redirect the situation is also important. I’ve learned over time to always have a number of activities in my back pocket that I can quickly move to that I know will engage most kids. Don’t be afraid to use them.
I think we when we’re teaching or coaching, we want everything to be perfect. However, sometimes we either didn’t communicate properly or it just wasn’t happening that day. Be ok with that. You can always come back to it another time. If you explain a drill, skill, or activity and everything quickly falls apart bring the group together. Re-explain what you’re doing and try again. If it falls apart move on. I cringe watching other coaches when this happens, and they aren’t recognizing the situation. Sometimes it’s ego, lack of awareness, or development on the instructor.
Whatever you do. If you’re a coach, instructor, teacher, or something else we should always be evaluating what we’re doing. Find things to work on and continue to develop. The impact you’re making is an important one so why wouldn’t you want to improve?