I haven’t really taught kids at the dojo for awhile, and last Friday when I went in to help Joe with his Halloween class, I realized how much I miss it. Even though I’ve only given birth to one child, throughout my life I’ve spent a lot of time caring for children. I started babysitting when I was fourteen, and I spent many of my summer breaks from school doing full-time daycare. I also worked as a paraeducator for Head Start for a few years, and I still occasionally help my friends and family with child care. I enjoy working with kids.
When I was growing up I was sometimes bullied, and I would often form closer relationships with the adults in my life than with other children. Almost all of the adults who I befriended, even those I didn’t meet through school, were teachers. It’s no coincidence that whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said “a teacher”.
I know that some of our youth Karate students started training because they were being bullied, and I know that martial arts can help give them the tools to deal with that. I’ve seen what training did for my own daughter; how it gave her the confidence to be comfortable in her own skin, and to not let anyone push her around. If one of those teachers that I was friends with as a child had been a martial artist, I believe it could have helped me a great deal.
I’ve been away from the youth class for too long, and it’s time to go back. I want to make a difference in the lives of children, I want to help them realize their full potential. At Friday’s class one of the newer students stuck to me like glue the entire time (I was dressed as a clown, so that might have something to do with it) and when he asked me who I was I said “Gina”. Then another student who’s been there for awhile said “She’s Sensei Gina”. Some of the kids have been calling me Sensei since I was a green belt, and it’s time for me to start being one for them again.
Can’t you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.” -CSN and sometimes Y