On difficult lessons.
By Amanda Harrison
Every single Buddy has had or will have a difficult lesson with a Bready (or a few). I've had my fair share of difficult lessons. Two really tough lessons stand out for me though. The first one was where the mom kept shouting orders at her son, drowning out everything I said. She went as far as very loudly repeating everything I said. The Bready could hardly repeat any of the words and phrases I was trying to teach him. I had to maintain composure because it was a taster session and I was actually quite afraid of the mom lol. I was very unsure of how to handle this situation, and I dare say, I completely failed as a teacher that day. I was just willing the time to be over. I have learned from that experience, when it happened again, I kept saying the Bready's name when I asked a question, and I said, can you tell me what this is? The more questions I directed at him, the more the Mom kept quiet, and she allowed him to answer without interference. It was a bit strange, I said his name so many times, I will never forget it.
I then reached for my Thomas tank engine and said, “Look, this is blue”. In a flash this boy jumped of his Dad's lap, ran to his toy box and took out his Thomas tank engine set. We found common ground at last. He smiled so much and was so excited that he got to play with trains for the next 20 minutes.
The second really difficult lesson was when the Bready was sitting on his Dad's lap and had absolutely no interest in the lesson. He got quite angry with me and refused point blank to say anything. He stared at me very angrily. It was 8 minutes into the lesson and I was getting desperate. I then reached for my Thomas tank engine and said, “Look, this is blue”. In a flash this boy jumped of his Dad's lap, ran to his toy box and took out his Thomas tank engine set. We found common ground at last. He smiled so much and was so excited that he got to play with trains for the next 20 minutes. We named colours, I asked him how many trains he had, and he counted them out loud. I then asked to see his yellow train, and he showed me his yellow oil tanker. We spoke about wheels and our trains spoke to each other. So the lesson that I was supposed to do got abandoned, I changed tactics and we had a really fun time. I actually got a lesson in, it was FEW, so we asked how many, and we counted, and looked at the numbers on the coal carriages. That was a great lesson for me to learn. If the bready doesn't want to do the work and they show anger, it's pointless forcing the lesson on them. Use gender appropriate toys. I say this, because he was not the fluffy toy type of child, he was into trains and action figures. We actually covered a lot in our play session. He didn't say much other than counting and colours, but we had an English lesson right there.
I also find that when Breadies want to show me something, a toy, something they drew, I stop the lesson and we talk about the item they're holding up. Speaking is just as important as doing the lesson. Some breadies love drawing, and they love showing me drawings they drew and we just chat about the drawing. It's an easy one because you can elicit answers by asking questions about the drawing. I had a Bready who was drawing while we did the lesson, she didn't skip a beat during the lesson and then produced small pictures of fruit, which she then named, all the while using full sentences.
As Buddies we need to be flexible, because not all lessons will go to plan. Some Breadies are just not willing to do the lesson the way it is intended and need to be taught in a different way. I'm not always successful with difficult Breadies, not all of them want to compare their toys with you, or show you their toys, they are just plain not interested no matter what silly actions you do.
So when that happens, and I don't elicit anything from the Bready, I review it as Technical difficulties and explain in my review what happened. There's no magic formula. Every child is different and we have to respect that. All we can do is our best and try everything in our power to elicit some reaction from the Bready.
The best thing we can do as Buddies, is learn from every difficult lesson. Ask other Buddies how they cope with difficult Breadies, we are here to learn from each other. I love working at IQBar because we have a strong sense of camaraderie and we help each other with so many things. There is probably not another company that has what we have here.
IQBar is truly an exceptional place to work and is definitely one of a kind. I say this because I have watched some YouTube videos of people who previously worked for other companies, and the complaints from these people who used to teach at those companies are unheard of here. The staff are fair and any issue raised is immediately dealt with. We have opportunities here that few (if any) other company offers. Our Buddies grow from strength to strength and learn new things all the time. It truly is a wonderful place to work.