Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Teaching Commitment to Learning in fencing and life

Teaching commitment in fencing

When the teacher says, I am the one that makes learning possible in the classroom and I am committed to make it happen. And the student says, I will do everything that I can to learn. I am ready to learn. That is when the magic of learning really happens. (Edutopia blog)

A great teacher is a rare and valuable find. Great teachers need to not only be proficient in the subject, but also passionate about sharing their knowledge and skills in transferring it to others. Great teachers know how to cater their style and approach to the individual and care as much (or more) about their students’ success as their own.

I recently stumbled on this post about teaching technique vs. teaching commitment and it got me thinking. When you teach children, either as a schoolteacher, a coach, a parent, or a role model of any sort, you teach them much more than the subject matter at hand. Children are impressionable and soak up your words and actions like a sponge. It’s not only some teachers that go beyond the skill or the sport because they choose to, any adult that guides children inherently teaches them much more simply because children look up to and emulate their elders. It’s both a blessing and a responsibility.

I believe teaching commitment is one of the most valuable skills we can impart on today’s youth. As a fencing club founder, I of course see the value of commitment in learning a sport, but the ability to commit and dedicate yourself to a new endeavor applies well beyond athletics. In their careers, relationships, and creative pursuits, children who learn commitment and pride in their output at a young age will use this skill for the rest of their lives.

As Seth states in the link above, “Great teachers teach commitment.” Both in our actions and the expectations that we set. Children want to be challenged and have an insatiable urge to learn new things. Sometimes that urge is dampened by the fear of not doing well, or learned habits of laziness. I believe the best way to combat this is by fostering encouragement while also demanding dedication and hard work.

At AFM we want our students to have fun and thrive, but we also demand excellence and expect them to demand the same of themselves. I think this approach to teaching is what today’s children deserve from us as coaches, parents, and role models. Let’s give them every chance to build confidence and aptitude by expressing our commitment to supporting them and then pushing them to do the same for themselves.


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1 Comment

  1. L Mao

    I think sometimes we forget that having fun and being challenged are actually two sides of the same coin. Was reminded of this recently by my son. After a particularly rigorous private lesson where he was pushed well out of his comfort zone, I asked him (a bit tentatively) “how was it?” His response: “That was so much fun!”

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