I haven't taught in quite a while, except for a little Wednesday evening group. There are only three of us in my little "class", so to call it "teaching" might be a stretch.
However, I used to teach quite a lot. Beginner level students only, I taught form and beginning push hands.
That said, I will try to answer the questions put forth.
When I first started teaching I was not even aware I was going to be teaching. I agreed to help out my older brother, who had been teaching for a couple of years, by being his tackling dummy...
I mean being the guy he demonstrated applications on.
That lasted two weeks, then he coudn't make it to class for a few weeks and rather than cancel it I said I'd step in. I had been certified to teach beginners allready, so I stepped up.
But having no pre-conceived notions of how to teach, I simply walked in, told the students that my brother was not available for a while and I would be taking over and we moved on.
I guess it was easier for me, because I didn't have a long time to think about it, I found out about five minutes before the class was going to start, and the students allready saw me as being more advanced so they didn't have a problem taking instruction from me for a bit until my brother could get back on track.
And I guess that answers the first two questions in one go.
OK, three questions, as I just described what was easy for me too.
What was hard was having to explain after about a month that my brother was not coming back at all to that class. That was when the students began to "test" me, when I became their full time teacher. That was hard, but fortunately I passed those "tests" and we moved on from there and most of them stayed and actually managed to learn their form from me.
I think the best teacher I have ever met is my teacher now. That's not just lip service to Bill, it's how I feel. The reason he's such a great teacher is because he truly understands what he's teaching and he truly loves teaching teaching it. I will have to assume that helps you be a truly great teacher. I've been told I'm a good teacher, but I haven't reached that level of true understanding yet, and I don't have that burning desire to teach yet to be a great one. That will have to come with time and effort.
I didn't used to make lesson plans. I used to take each lesson one class at a time with just a general idea that we'd get to the end of the form.... eventually.
When I was in the setting of an Academy, a school with it's own facilities and open ended classes where the students paid a monthly fee rather than a set payment for a set amount of time in class, that worked very well. However once I branched out from that setting into the community centers and began to teach a ten or twelve week course with a beginning and end date that I had to fit the form into, then I had to start making lesson plans and stick to them as closely as I could.
With my little group of Wednesday learners I have found it best to take one week at a time, but to have that weeks plan in place before I get there. I decide what we're going to cover in our one and a half hours of group time, and I do my best to stick to that.
I use any articles that I can find from a legitimate Yang family source. I usually look on Bill and Carl's website, www.kentuckytaichi.com,
and print up whatever Practice Point seems appropriate for what I'm trying to get across to my students that week. Handouts are nice if you're trying to introduce a concept that you aren't all that terribly familiar with teaching.
I once had a female student ask me if I get aroused doing the forms. When I looked quite puzzled at her question she continued on and told me, and consequently the entire class, that she got aroused while doing the forms.
I had no response to her question. I stood there kind of dumbfounded. Fortunately it just so happened that my teacher was listening in from his office in the studio and he came out immediately and gave us a lecture on how TCC energy is a form of sexual energy, and gave her the response that some people did indeed get aroused from practicing TCC.
I thought he might have been making that up to cover a very awkward moment, but I found out later that he was dead on right with his answer. Now I know how to answer that question, and yes it did come up agian one other time by a male student, but he asked me in private not in front of the whole school.
'Nuff said about THAT particular episode!
Hey, you asked!!!!!!
I was lucky enough to teach under the auspices of an Academy, and as a teacher and employee of that Academy I taught under their insurance policy. I didn't have to mess around with it, the school handled all that.
I'm not sure about the legalities of what I'm doing now, except that a lawyer at my workplace assures me that if I'm not charging for my "lessons" in my basement I'm not liable for any harm that comes to my "friends" unless it's by my negilgence. I have to be VERY careful to call them "friends" to their faces and not "students", it's apparently a legal issue. So I call them "friends" and I make sure we do NO actual sparring. Push hands ONLY down in my little studio for me and my "friends".