We have a program at our martial arts club called. Let’s Celebrate Feeling Good About Ourselves, It’s an important part of our program because in my experience nothing is more important for our health and happiness. Each month we celebrate a different theme relating to this, and last month we celebrated, Acting With Integrity.
Quite often, explaining concepts such as acting with integrity to young children in a way that they understand can be a challenge. So, for integrity I simply described it as, doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching, and I gave them some examples to illustrate what it means.
During the final week of the month, when I asked the tyke class if they remembered what integrity was, five year old Drew put up his hand. Drew said, looking at his fellow students, “I have two questions. If yo pawents said ‘no jumping on the bed’ and then they went out in the back yawd to wake leaves, and then you went to yo woom and jumped on the bed, are you acting with integwity?”
The students dutifully answered, “No!”
But Drew wasn’t finished! “If yo pawents said ‘no jumping on the bed’ and then they went out in the back yawd to wake leaves, and you didn’t jump on the bed, are you acting with integwity?”
This time the students answered, “Yes!”
I thought I was going to cry! It was awesome beyond description!
What made this moment so special is that at the best of times, Drew has a difficult time sitting still and following instructions, and many times, I’ve had to ask him to go sit with his parents because he was disrupting the class. But clearly, he has been paying attention because this is one of the examples I had been using to help his class understand integrity and he repeated it verbatim.
That Drew was able to explain it with such clarity and do it by asking a question of his fellow students made it truly an awesome moment … and that is why I love teaching karate!
And if that isn’t reason enough, on another occasion with the same age group, after bowing the students in, I asked the class, “How is everybody tonight?” to which they all screamed, “AWESOME!” Then I asked them, “And why are you feeling awesome?” (thinking they would say, ‘because we’re at karate!), and little Carter replied, “Cause it’s Monday!” … (because, of course, Monday is karate night!). After I composed myself, I gave him a high-five and said. that’s awesome Carter!
Is there anything better than teaching kids!
Have an awesomely instructive day!