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Why I love teaching others how to teach...

This happened last night, when my best and brightest student teacher took over a group therapeutic riding lesson for an absent instructor.  I just have to share the awesome!

"Zach", the student teacher, has been a volunteer with our program for years, and is now in college double-majoring in communication disorders and rehabilitative therapies.  The lesson is a group of 5 children on the Autism spectrum, and they work on communication, life skills, and handwriting both on and off the horses.  Here's what I overheard as the lesson was ending, the children were preparing to dismount their horses, and Zach was leading the group through their regular review and closing conversation...

Zach: Rose, tell Mike something he did well today.
Rose: I don't want to.
Zach: You saw how well he trotted today.  Tell him something like "Mike, you did well trotting today."
Rose: Mike, you did well trotting today.
Mike: (Is staring at Joe, a third student, who is reciting to his horse all the holidays from October through December.)
Rose: (In her most strident, outdoor voice) MIKE, YOU DID WELL TROTTING TODAY!
Mike: Oh.  Yeah, I did.
Zach: Mike, can you tell Rose what she did well tonight?
Mike: (pause) Rose, what did you do well tonight?
Rose: I stood up over poles.
Mike: You did well standing up over poles.
Joe: Rose, when is your birthday?
Rose: October 31.
Mike: Wow, that's Halloween!
Joe: Halloween, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving . . . .

This was the first time any of them had shown an interest in each other socially, so communication got an A+ last night!  Happy Holidays, everybody, and don't forget to enjoy the little successes when they come!

Bonus random happy pic: Bear Comet!



December 2009

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