I had a fun class this morning. Well, it was fun but also quite a challenge. I have worked with so many children over the years but I still can get tripped up from time to time. It is amazing that the most challenging group of children to work with are not the difficult students but the students who are super excited to be in ballet class.
Let me explain a little further. Sometime when children are so excited to be in class they may not be the best listeners. My class this morning is a group of girls who have been taking my class since September and a couple of them took last year as well. So I have a bunch of 3, 4 and 5 year olds that know me very well and know each other very well. They have been great all year until a couple weeks ago. I don’t know if it is the fact that everyone is getting so familiar with each other or if it is the spring weather but they have been so chatty and all over the place. I say that this is the hardest kind of class to deal with because they are not being naughty they are just so excited and having fun that they forget that they are in a class.
I struggle with how to deal with a group like this at times. I like to have fun and be silly too in class but it can only go so far. It is hard to discipline a group that is just acting out because they are happy but we do need to stay on task. Also because they have been much calmer the rest of the year the new behavior caught me off guard.
What I am going to do is regroup for when I see them the next time. Last week I did offer them an extra sticker for good behavior and that worked well. Today we had a little quiet chat about making sure that they watched the teacher during our dances. Next week I will have the chat with them again right at the start of class. I will ask them what they should do when the teacher is talking and dancing. They should answer that they should listen, not talk, watch me etc. I will offer the extra reward again for good listening after an activity. Kids need to constantly be reminded about what they should be doing.
I still can get caught off guard from time to time. Especially when I have a group of students that changes their behavior in the middle of a session. On the first day of class I am ready for anything. Then after a while I know what to expect. However remember anything can happen when you are working with little children!