I was in contact with a student wellbeing teacher at a secondary school recently regarding our conneXions (Y9), Top Tens (Y10), and Success and Resilience (VCE) workshops. We discussed the possibility of running workshops with all her Year 10 students.
She wanted to know if I could run a workshop with a large number of students, as it would be cost effective because of their limited budget.
It was tempting, but I explained to her that I no longer run workshops for large groups of students at secondary schools because I don’t think they are effective when compared with working with a small group. Particularly when it involves a very interactive physical art such as Tai Chi.
There are two key reasons why I now focus on small groups in secondary schools:
- With a maximum of 30 students I can teach Tai Chi skills rather than ‘present’ the skills
- It’s easier to control a small group of secondary school students involved in physical activity
I politely declined the offer as I knew from experience that working with a large groups of students would have led to a mediocre outcome where the students, teachers and myself would not have been happy.
However in primary schools I do work with large numbers of students, up to 60 per workshop, in our Pozitive Kidz are happy kidz workshops. I can do this because it’s easier to control a large number of students aged between 5-12 when it comes to physical activities – in a future post I’ll share with you how I do this.
The reality of working in schools is that there is little money available for incursions and any money spent needs to be spent wisely.
That’s something I can’t control – but what I can control is my decision to accept working with secondary students.
And that decision is based on working with small groups.