Teach Your Children

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 you hear and do you care and
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

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