Todd Rackowitz is a maths teacher from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. So what’s his secret and technique behind teaching? He applied certain practices that he had obtained from teaching swimming lessons during his summers in high school to guide at-risk students when he first started out his teaching career at a dropout prevention school. In other words, these students were intimidated by math and not because they hated it. The full article can be found HERE.
His first practice is to let students be the experts. When he taught swimming to young toddlers aged 4 and 5 years old, he would spend the one hour lesson sitting with them in the baby pool, splashing, playing and talking with them. It might sound like a total waste of time and money especially for parents. However, during this process, Todd encourages these toddlers to blow bubbles and hold their breath under water. These are essential basic techniques to get them prepared for more advanced skills in the future. He never forced them to do things that they were not ready to do. This is the same approach he took when teaching maths. He based his lessons on the pace of his students, preventing them from getting stressed out.
Secondly, he would give his students a tour of the deep end of the Olympic size swimming pool via a ring-buoy ride. Once again, he would only take those to the deeper end if they wanted. The conversations with them will continue, but it will start leaning more towards learning how to swim. He would use the same method in the classroom when teaching maths. He believes that it is more productive to deepen students’ trust by introducing them to future topics and what will be expected of them.
Finally, he will always support them until they’re ready to let go. In swimming, he would start by teaching them to kick, pull and float. However, he would hold onto them till they are capable of floating on their on. When he’s in the classroom, he would scaffold the lesson so that his students have some support to begin with. Once they are more accustomed to it, he will slowly remove it away. Through this, he was able to help many students overcome their fear of swimming and maths.
Happy Fish Swim School believes that starting your child out at an early stage will provide them with an advantage in swimming. Hence, we have come up with special classes catered just towards Toddlers. These lessons will help in building up your child’s confidence not just in the water, but in his/her character too. So do check out what we have to offer and we sure hope your child gets to join in the fun with us!