It seems too good to be true. For those of you who don’t know, I am now a level 4 instructor in Taekwondo America and the highest level of instructor in that organization.
I feel like people weren’t too surprised when I got my certificate tonight. I imagine people think “What’s the big deal? If course she got her level 4! No sweat!” This isn’t me trying to be boastful I think people give me too much credit.
What I think most people don’t know is that me earning my level 4 collar is even more meaningful to me that earning my 3rd degree senior black belt at Nationals last January. The reality is, rank testing is tough and takes months and months of dedication and hard work to prepare for, but it in no way compares to the stress, tears, and ultimate joy I’ve come to experience in my journey as an instructor.
Mr. Anderson will tell you I used to always be the instructor to hide behind the bags. I started out as an a-team member when I was only 11, and I had 0 confidence in what I was doing and no courage to come out of my shell. I’m sure I wasn’t unlike most kids my age, but I really used to beat myself up over it. I hated the fact that I was quiet and shy, but at the same time I didn’t know the first thing about having confidence and speaking up to the students. I had to wrestle with my nature and find away to nudge myself out of the quiet corner I stuck myself in for years. Thanks to Mr. Anderson who continued to push me through (and resilience on my part) I kept coming to teach and learning new ways to develop my voice. This process took years, and it definitely wasn’t easy, but ultimately it has shaped me into the person I am today.
Just this year, Mr. Morrison and I led 4 straight days of classes. Mr. Anderson had complete faith in me, even when, at the time, I doubted my own ability to teach with firmness and provide quality classes. Thanks to his encouragement, we led some pretty good classes, in my opinion.
Also this year, I led a leadership class on teaching with confidence. In that class I had several kids who were preparing to be instructors one day, also facing a similar struggle to what I faced. In explaining my past situation to them and leading them through exercises on how to overcome their shyness, I felt more fulfillment than ever before in my teaching career. I almost cried, but managed to stop myself.
This year for Castle Hills Taekwondo America has truly been an incredible year for me! I can’t thank Mr. Anderson enough for helping to shape me into who I am today, a confident teacher and leader. All of this is what level 4 means to me.