Then we did circuits. We did jumping jacks instead of jump rope and we did just two and a half minutes, a one minute rest and then two more minutes. It was a start and everyone did almost all of it, which was good.
They all really worked hard today from the very beginning, from everyone jumping in and putting the mats down right away, through the warm-ups.
I started off showing them o soto makikomi, from their knees, into a kesa gatame. (For you non-judo readers, that means they grabbed the opponent by the neck and elbow, turned, and threw him/her on the back into a pin.)
They were all really attentive, and tried seriously to learn the techniques. There, looking on, is Mr. Jose Gonzales, the teacher who has sponsored this program and come to the class every Friday after school for FOUR YEARS with no extra pay.
After trying the throw on their knees, they went to standing. You can see how well it went in this video. The reason I am yelling, "Wait! Wait!" is that we only have one crash pad and I was afraid the two students on the other end were going to crash into Mr. Jimmy Sanchez, our other Gompers school staff volunteer, and the young lady throwing him.
I am happy to report no such collision occurred.
As I said, it was a successful day. The students had an hour and a half of good, well-supervised exercise, with three teachers (me, Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Sanchez), all of us very well-qualified, if I do say so myself, which I do - for fourteen kids. So less than a five-to-one ratio, with an organized schedule.
Afterwards, the after-school program (Woodcraft Rangers) provided snacks for the students. So, they got milk, juice, raisins, cheese, nuts and some cookies thrown in for good measure.
I was very satisfied. I don't think the most privileged kids in Malibu had a better after-school experience today than these students. I am especially proud of that because it isn't as if we had the best facilities. The school district has been cutting everything they can to spare cutting teachers - which is right, you need teachers more than anybody.
Of course, when I got there, some of the tiles from the ceiling had fallen down and there was no janitor to clean up, nor a broom. So I found a poster and using it, scraped all of the debris I could out of the way into a corner while the students put down the mats.
Despite that, with borrowed mats, donated gis, donated food and volunteer time, we had a GREAT class.
Oh, and if you want to trash-talk the Los Angeles public schools, you better not do it around me. These teachers do amazing work with almost no money for resources, supplies, school repairs or anything else.
Yes, I don't do a lot. I only teach one afternoon a week because it is all I can spare. If we all did that, though, just think how much of a difference it would make.
If you're really concerned about the state of public education, do something.