When Your Child Says - If I Enter The Water, The Sharks Will Eat Me! Tuesday, 20 May 2008
If you watch the media reports on encounters of humans and nature, you would quickly think that everybody who camps in the forest or goes swimming in the ocean is in very real danger of getting attacked by a bear or shark. As adults, we can rationally figure out that this likely won't happen to you but for kids, it can easily manifest into real phobia. UnderwaterTimes.com has just published a fantastic article about how to help children deal with their fears of nature and the outdoors and provides some really cool tips and rules on talking to kids about nature. Some basic rules that they suggest are: Don't lie about the actual risks or dangers. Never tell children bears and sharks are not dangerous. Don't use this fear to correct other areas of bad behavior. An example would be telling your child "if you do not do what I told you, I will call a bear to come out of the woods and tell him to eat you". Yes, many parents actually do different variations of this, most popular one being "I'll get that policeman to arrest you". Don't further reduce their self-esteem. They are already feeling guilt and/or embarrassment because of their fear so don't make things worse. If as a parent you are unable to help your child, don't despair or give up, seek professional help. Call a licensed child psychologist and schedule an appointment for both you and your child. All of this got me thinking about some of the fears that we come up against as paddling instructors. It's my experience is that a huge number of people are absolutely terrified of the water and it can really get in the way of their learning. I'm interested in what suggestions you might have to give other instructors to help deal with students who come to a canoe or kayak lesson but are still terrified of water. I'm interested in tips for either kids or adults. I will get the ball rolling. For me dealing with a student who is very scared, it is important that…
Seven Principles of Effective Teaching Sunday, 17 February 2008
Arthur W. Gamson developed seven principles to effective teaching which have been among the most influential ideas of the past twenty years in relation to teaching theory. It seems pretty straight forward but if we remembered to embrace them, we would be much more effective teachers. Encourage instructor/student contact Encourage cooperation among students Encourage active learning Give prompt feedback Emphasize time on task Communicate high expectations Respect diverse talents and ways of learning Source: Chickering, Arthur W. Gamson, Zelda F.(1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.
Paddling Canada Instructor Newsletter Highlights Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Beta testers wanted for expedition gear activity Friday, 04 January 2008
New Ontario Kayaking Program Details Released Tuesday, 01 January 2008
Evan Spinny gathering up his class. Ontario Instructors have long been aware of the long and ongoing spat between the National Certifying body, Paddle Canada and its provincial counterpart, the Ontario Recreational Canoe & Kayak Association (ORCKA). Like most arguments, it focuses on territory and money. Here is the two sentence summery on the long standing (and ugly) dispute. Paddle Canada doesn't feel that it has been fairly compensated for the national program that is run and administrated locally by ORCKA. ORCKA (along with several other provincial Associations) feels that they have been pushed away from the decision table by when PC voted to streamline it governance structure this past fall. ORCKA has decided to stop offering the National program and offer its own Provincial program instead. They already have a strong and well established canoeing program so it's easy to implement. Over the past 4 months though, there have been a lot of rumors and questions around ORCKA developing its own sea and white water kayaking program.