Working With Kids (All Teachers)Posted by Kat Hunter on August 31, 2016 at 8:27 am
I work almost completely with adults, but occasionally I get a really young student and it totally throws me! So i’d be interested to know 2 things:
1. What’s the youngest age you teach?
2. What are some specific challenges and things you’ve learned from working with really young students?
MemberAugust 31, 2016 at 8:29 am
I’m the same as you, mainly adults, but lots of teenagers too – 13 out of 31 actually! And the rest adults.
1. 8, but haven’t taught that young for a long time now. Would probably prefer 10 upwards, as this is what I’m used to and I can talk to them more like an adult from 10 onwards…!
2. I took on a 6 year old for a trial once and she cried. Clearly wasn’t ready and was pushed by the mum… which I’m very against… but hey, I might have just been really intimidating and she could now be with a teacher she doesn’t cry with…!! I also taught another 5 year old and 8 year old at the same time which really didn’t work. Obviously the older one was more focused than the other. But as they were brother and sister they kept distracting each other or messing around.
I’m not really a kids person and I find it far more straightforward to deal with fully formed humans that can keep still lol!
MemberAugust 31, 2016 at 8:31 am
I’m the other way around! I teach mainly children and teenagers – the youngest I will teach though is age 6. I’ve tried lessons with 4 and 5 year olds before and none have worked out because they just wasn’t ready for the lessons and they struggle to concentrate for 30 minutes. I sometimes even struggle with the 6 year olds but at the moment my youngest is 8, which I have found seems to be roughly the right age to start lessons.
I don’t book under 12s in for more than 30 minutes at a time unless something like an exam is coming up. I’ve found an hour is too long for them unless they are completely committed (I have 2 under 12s at the moment who have hour lessons but they are already working through the graded syllabus/entering competitions etc)
I currently teach a handful of adults, the oldest I’ve taught was about 75! I’m more confident teaching youngsters, I think it’s also because it’s the age range I teach the most and they see me as a similar age, even though I am over 15 years older than some of them! I have found that parents are easier to communicate with than adult students as well and kids don’t tend to ‘drop off’ as much – what are other peoples thoughts on this?
MemberAugust 31, 2016 at 8:31 am
Makes sense. Yes, school kids are more reliable as they have quite a bit of structure and routine implemented by the parents. Parents therefore appreciate this organisation and consistency as much as you do! They therefore tend to be more long-lasting, at the very least a term at a time.
Having said that, I have a handful of adults who’ve stuck at it for years now, although they tend to stop and start depending on their other hobbies or commitments, or changes with finances! It’s good if they come back 🙂
MemberAugust 31, 2016 at 8:32 am
Do either of you use “games” with your younger kids? I feel as if there’s a certain age at which musical games stop being helpful and start being “lame” or something. Just reading what I’m writing now, feeling so out of touch hahaha!
Log in to reply.