TU Speaks to Character
Accountability for one’s actions; dependability
Few things are universally more frustrating to parents than trying to teach their children responsibility. From managing money to completing homework to remembering messages, daily activities are full of opportunities to be — or not be — responsible.
Participation in extra activities, like twirling, can help to develop the desired skills—and provide “natural consequences” when those skills are lax. Individual responsibility includes coming to lessons prepared physically (with batons, shoes, hair ties, etc.) as well as from a training standpoint (practiced during the week, stretched out before the lesson, have previous lesson notes or recent score sheets to show the teacher). A twirler who forgets something may learn a valuable lesson when she has to borrow a short baton or use someone else’s shoes that are the wrong size!
Responsibility also includes being dependable for a team. Do team practices and events take precedence over social activities? Team members are expected to master the memorization and the skills necessary to be a contributing member of the group, and it is a sobering lesson when you let your teammates down. Keeping an accurate calendar, planning ahead, and doing your part to contribute to the team’s success are all lessons in responsibility.
We all know that youngsters copy more of what we DO than what we SAY, so adults need to set a good example by paying bills/entry fees promptly, sending in entries on time, answering messages, and helping twirlers to arrive on time at practices and competitions.
Keeping track of wins appropriately (see article on pg. 3) is another example of responsibility. In this issue, we are including a chart that twirlers may use for this purpose, but regardless of the specific tool, parents and teachers should create some method of record-keeping for twirlers involved in competition.
Setting a good example for younger twirlers is an important responsibility for more experienced members of a group. Demonstrating good practicing skills, paying attention in class, proper preparation, and good attendance are all signs of responsible behavior.
Developing responsibility and dependability is not an overnight process, as any parent can attest. However, using the opportunities that occur naturally when you are involved in twirling is a great boost to helping young people get started in the right direction.
Action Plans for Teachers and Parents By Karen Moretti
“We create our character by the daily decisions we make.”
- Deb Austin Brown
Since developing responsibility is an important advantage to being involved in twirling, this month’s article includes an action plan for twirlers.
1) Be on time for lessons or practices. Your teammates depend on you! If you need to be late or miss a practice, call ahead so the group is not waiting for you.
2) Attend practices faithfully. Doing the right thing isn't always the most "fun" thing! Once again, if you are involved in a group lesson, your decision to not attend the practice negatively impacts the entire group.
3) Watch your words! Avoid “trash-talking” and gossip. Neither is productive!
4) If you compete individually, keep an accurate record of your wins. Use the record sheet provided in the last Twyrl Type or devise your own system. (If you have suggestions for others, please share with us!)
5) Be prepared for contests and practice sessions. Keep a checklist that includes everything from music and footwear to grooming supplies and extra batons!
6) Create a practice schedule and stick to it! Keep a practice journal or a sticker chart and monitor your progress!
7) Be gracious when everything goes your way and avoid the "blame game" when falling short of your expectations. While you cannot control the outcome, you can ALWAYS control your words and actions!
8) Leave practice and contest facilities in top-notch condition! Gather all personal belongings (use your checklist!) and dispose of trash.
9) Bring your BEST SELF to lessons, practices, and contests! Give your best and try your best. Be positive! Encourage your teammates and others who come in contact with you.
10) Take ownership of your progress! Write down your goals and create your OWN action plans for success in twirling and even more important, in "real" life!
11) If you are an older member of a team—set a good example for new or younger members. Often, the older members are the better twirlers—make sure you are one of the better role models, too!
12) Remember—you did not get where you are by yourself. Always remember there are many people who have helped you along the way.
TEACHER’S PERSONAL CHECKLIST for RESPONSIBILITY:
1. Do I arrive for lessons on time?
2. Am I always prepared and do I bring my personal best to all lessons and activities?
3. Do I limit personal distractions during class time (no cell phone, limit family or other interruptions of lessons)?
4. Do I gear classes to the level appropriate for the age and ability of the students?
5. Do I encourage each twirler to try his/her best and reward positive effort, not just talent?
6. Do I try to always remember that twirlers are still kids—and try to make the classes fun while encouraging self- discipline?
7. Do I regularly communicate details about lessons and performances to parents?
8. Do I model good sportsmanship at competitions?
9. Do I refrain from gossip and other negative behaviors?
10. Do I show respect for twirlers, parents, other teachers, contest directors and the facilities we use?
RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PARENTS
1. Arrive on time to all practices and other activities.
2. Supply and help organize batons, footwear, and other equipment for your twirler so he/she is always prepared.
3. Remind your twirler to do and give her/his personal best at all times. Remember that the lessons learned through twirling carry through many other aspects of life.
4. Work with your twirler to create a regular practice schedule and help them follow it. Set realistic expectations and be sure to dedicate some of your time to watching practice sessions, too!
5. Honor financial responsibilities by paying all fees on time.
6. At competitions, model good sportsmanship. Understand that the judge’s decision is final and help your son or daughter to deal appropriately with disappointment and be gracious as a winner.
7. Avoid gossip! It is detrimental to all concerned. If you have a suggestion/concern/issue, please see the director or instructor.
8. Supervise ALL children you bring to lessons, competitions or other activities.
9. Respect the facility and its rules (no smoking, no eating or drinking, etc.)
10. Be a good role model for all our twirlers. They are always watching and listening!