Student handbooks can be a valued resource and tool for your students, used as a supplement to your school’s instruction. It’s where they can find information about things that may have been introduced during their first lessons, but aren’t as frequently referred to thereafter, such as the history of your martial art, etiquette, and terminology.
Here, we explore why your school should or shouldn’t use student handbooks.
Familiarize Students with Your Policies
Your school’s policies won’t be something that you repeat often during class, which is why it’s so important for your students to have a copy that they can reference. Consider adding a “student bill of rights”, which includes policies that relate to safety and privacy. These guidelines help protect your students and outline their responsibilities to themselves and to others. Having outlined these items, you can make it clear to your students what your expectations of them are.
Student handbooks are a perfect opportunity to educate your students on the history, philosophies, and benefits of that martial art(s) that your school teaches. These topics aren’t always covered to their full extent in class, yet are immensely important for a full and thorough understanding of your martial arts’ teachings. You can also define your school’s etiquette – explain how your students should behave in the dojo, any rules and regulations, and dress code.
It may also be beneficial to feature a section highlighting basic terminology that’s used regularly in class. Review any words or phrases, including commands, names of any training equipment, etc., that are used at your school.
Keep Parents Posted
Your students’ handbooks will most likely pass through the hands of their parents as well. Handbooks are an exceptional avenue for keeping parents up-to-date on what their children do during class, acting doubly as a reminder of the benefits of martial arts for children. Most student handbooks are updated annually and, even if your school may not need to do this as frequently, parents can remain informed with each update.
While student handbooks can add value, printing them out for each and every single one of your students and updating them annually is a considerable cost. So, before committing to the idea of creating student handbooks, determine whether or not you can spend the extra money. In addition, certain parents may find some of the rules and regulations listed in the handbooks to be too bureaucratic for their tastes. An alternative to having the handbooks is drafting a list of policies, rules, and regulations with your class, and then posting the finalized list somewhere visible in your school. Coming up with these items together may help students take them more seriously, since they had an active hand in creating them.