When working with students, success is measured through progress. When a person demonstrates an improvement by either performing a new skill or eliminating a previous behavior (no matter how slight), they have made progress. I sometimes write preschool behavior goals for response targets like: appropriately participating while with the whole group, following verbal prompts, and sharing classroom items with peers. These are essential skills because they are important for a person to master if they hope to fully participate in any structured social setting.
Some of the students in our group exercise classes are so resistant to change that we have to really look to see even the smallest signs of progress. One of our jobs as instructors is to continually demonstrate and describe the skills we want performed in class. Through repetition (consistent guidelines), direct follow-through (prompting it and delivering it), and understanding (people have various reasons for attending group exercise classes), we strive to see small signs of progress. Just slight changes in behaviors give us hope that more will come if we continue to provide proper coaching techniques while demonstrating patience along with our passion.
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