Train Your Successor. You must create instructors if you are ever want to take a vacation and one of these instructors will probably be your eventual replacement. As your students near the black belt rank, you should begin assessing their potential as an instructor. Look for a student who has a friendly rapport with other students, who students go to for advice, who accepts leadership and who students naturally follow, and one who enjoys teaching and assisting fellow students. Find these potential assistants and begin to develop them as instructors. In training potential assistants, tell them that as they continue to train as students they should constantly assess what you say and do and what occurs in class from the viewpoint of an instructor trainer. They should not just do what you say but also listen to the way you say it. You must be careful when instructing potential instructors because they will be passing on what you say to their future students who will pass it on to their students. You will be watched all the time, even when you are no aware of it, so you must always exemplify what you want in one of your assistants. Instructors-in-training should be silently analytical and appreciative of any instruction they observe. Encourage them to respectfully ask questions. Let them know that instructing is an art in itself, and, just as with Taekwondo, it takes years to develop a good technique.
The Three T's of a Quality Taekwondo Instructor
- Technician. Ability to perform Taekwondo techniques in a technically perfect manner.
- Tactician. Ability to fit Taekwondo techniques to every situation and every opponent.
- Teacher. Ability to teach others to become technicians and tacticians.
Keep your Best. Talent, like hearts, goes where it is appreciated. If you want to keep your best students in hopes they will become instructors in your school, you must make sure their efforts are appreciated. This does not mean you have to pay them, just thank them a lot, praise them personally, and praise them publicly through plaques or letters of appreciation. If they do not feel appreciated, they may go to other schools.Provide tasks for students that match their skill level.