I've been assisting Mr. Mc with the kids' class for the past several weeks. Now I'm helping out on a regular basis because attendance has gone from something like 5-9 regulars to 15 this past week. We have a lot of new white belts who have only been to a handful of classes, so it has been a trying time keeping them in line and focused. The more instructors and advanced belts on the floor, the better.
We've been focusing on stances and it's been a trying time to get them all to move the correct arm or leg consistently. Whether it's "Punch with your right hand" or "Slide your left leg forward," there's almost always several who do the opposite.
I know that part of this problem is due the use of the mirror image. If I'm facing a student and I take a step to the left, they take a step to the right. It's frustrating when you're trying to teach them the correct way of doing things, but I know from personal experience that adults need time to get used to this concept and we still mess up sometimes. On Monday, I went to a Zumba class at my church. The instructor was facing us, and at least 80% of the class mixed up the directions. I thought this was funny as the majority of the women in class were adults. If adults have problems with this, then you can bet that the kids are having way more trouble. Some of this can't be helped. When we line up and bow in to start class, the instructors always face the students. Once class has started, I usually try to line up with the students and face the same way they are so they can watch me as I demonstrate the stances.
Mr. Mc did find a method that helped the kids remember which leg moves to go into a front stance. When he told them to move their right leg but they moved their left instead, he had them all grab a chair and hold their left leg up for several minutes until it became uncomfortable. Once they were allowed to put both feet on the ground, he called out the stance again. Surprise, surprise! Every student remembered which leg to move this time around. The next week he threatened to use the same torture-- I mean drill -- if they confused their left from right. Everyone reassured him that they would remember, and they did. Discomfort can be a good teacher, or at least, good motivation.