March 10, 2010

Ballerina Tantrums

Last week, I taught a ballet class in substitution for a friend who had a business meeting. This was a class of mostly 8-10 year olds in an International school. Everything went fine until I started teaching Jetes. It was a this point that a cute little girl began showing a long face because she couldn't do it. I made some adjustments which seemed to have appeased our little ballerina. When stretch time came, I asked them to take their legs off the barre and keep them in the air. It was then that little ballerina went to a corner and sulked. It tried to get her up to no avail. So I decided to ignore her. As the class went on, she kept having a sluggish carriage of her body. Deep inside I was boiling as it was irritating as a leaky faucet though I had to be courteous all the time. By God's grace, I got through the class without incident.

This event got me thinking about how I would deal with kids like this. So when I taught the same class today, I tried an experiment. I told the girls that they would either get a very hard or very slow class if I heard a whine or saw a tantrum. It worked, I didn't see any horrid behavior today though little ballerina would not look me in the eye during Reverance. Its really about letting the kids know who the teacher is. As a professor once said, "The Teacher is the Master of the Classroom".