Trek Women
June 23, 2008

Student Teaching

Img_2379 My sister teaches second grade.  I remember when she was in college and had to student teach.  That's where all that you have learned in books and lectures meets with your ability to actually get the point across to living breathing small people.

I got my student teaching opportunity for bike-speak a couple of days ago.  My kids are getting big enough no that biking is no longer just the up-and back on the sidewalk.  They want to go somewhere, signal turns and be "big boys" who bike like mom.  So, we hauled out the bikes and I offered a lesson on gears and gear shifting.  Luckily, at the time, one was interested and the other gave a pass for just straight-up riding, which gave me one on one teaching time.

I have learned a lot about bikes in the past two years but this put me to the test.  If  I could successfully get across the key points and teach gear shifting to a seven and eight year old (without them giving me the exasperated "I just don't get it!"  look) then I would know I was doing something right.

I have to say, we started out with just calling everything, "See this circle here? and how the chain goes on it?" down to the kids saying later on in the day, "Yeah, over here on the derailleur. . . ."  We did aImg_2377_2 lesson on shifting the back and then a lesson on shifting the front chain rings."  Each time I taught them how it worked I sent them down the street with the assignment to just try it out and then report back on their observations.

They caught on quickly and, I think because their kids, were able to not get totally caught up in the concept of gear ratios etc. .  .and purely went on feel, deciding what gears worked best for them and where.  More bike shop owners need to get back to student teaching and teach us all like second graders - the language is simplified and we can just go on the feel of the bike and the wind on our face rather than all the technical mumbo-jumbo that often makes a beginner (or even me) intimidated.

The best part is that I know the adage "See it, do it, teach it" will apply here and my kids will be showing other kids about gear shifting and bike parts in no time.  I know know that I have passes my student-teaching experience and will be able to use the right language and the right steps in teaching others the same thing.  What a wholly satisfying afternoon of biking - and I never even left my driveway. . . .


PS.  I also gave them a "Ride" guide of their very own and told them lesson #2 was tire changing. . .


Very sweet!

Posted by: Trek Sister Marie | Jun 24, 2008 9:02:49 PM

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