Did you know that McClellan's Taekwondo Academy has a multitude of different instructors, leadership team members, and volunteers that help the school run as smoothly as it does?
One of the most frequently asked questions that we get from visitors to our school is "who is the owner?" Miss McClellan is the owner and currently the only staff member of MTA while Mr. and Mrs. McClellan are volunteer instructors. After teaching elementary school for three years, Miss McClellan decided to quit teaching in order to open her own taekwondo school. Mr. and Mrs. McClellan (her parents) supported her decision and stated that they would be available to help at the school as much as they could while they continued with their full-time jobs. But, the three McClellans aren't the only ones who make it possible to run a school of almost 200 students!
The Instructor Team
We currently have six nationally-certified instructors at McClellan's Taekwondo Academy. There are four levels of instructor certification within Taekwondo America, Level One, Two, Three, and Four. We currently have three Level One instructors (identified by the thin red collar) and three Level Four instructors (identified by the thick black collar.)
In order to become a Level One instructor, a student must be a First Degree Decided Black Belt and at least eight years old. Once they have met those basic requirements, a student must demonstrate all forms and one-steps up to and including their own. Students progress through the instructor levels just like they progress through the belt ranks. In order to receive their Level Two collar, students must complete a written and oral exam. All Level Four instructors are at least 18 years old and hold a valid CPR and First-Aid certification.
When on the workout floor, instructors are responsible for assisting with class and guiding the STORM Team. Instructors can run class on their own, but need an individual over the age of 18 to be present at the same time. When it comes to the MTA three-strike policy, instructors are able to give the first two strikes to a student. Miss McClellan is the only person who can give a student their third strike. Instructors are able to run large group and small groups in addition to managing and overseeing a STORM Team member who is assisting with class. More specifically, Level One instructors at MTA are used to help start and finish class, run a station on their own, work with a group doing forms, and answer basic questions from the parents and family members.
Miss Reed (aka Miss Jacqueline), Miss Fitzer (aka Miss Ella), and Mr. Spanos are all Level One Instructors. The three McClellans are all Level Four Instructors.
The STORM Team
The STORM Team stands for a Special Team Of Role Models. This is our leadership team designed for students who have demonstrated leadership characteristics in their own class and have a desire to teach and help others. The STORM Team is also designed for students who want to eventually become a Level One Instructor once they receive their First Degree Decided Black Belt.
We currently have 23 students on the STORM Team at McClellan's Taekwondo Academy ranging from ages 6 through 15 and ranks Green through Black Belt. In order to be on the STORM Team, students must be at least a Green Belt and receive a personal invitation from Miss McClellan. Once a student has received an invitation to be a member of the team, they are required to fill out an application, complete a basic physical test, and complete a series of basic interview questions.
Students on the STORM Team have certain requirements they must meet in order to remain on the team. Every month, the team members must assist with at least two classes per month, attend one leadership class per month and attend their own class at least twice per week. These team members must also know White, Yellow, and Orange Belt form. In addition to these requirements, STORM Team members also have specific uniform requirements when they are assisting with class. You can easily identify these students by the black and blue uniforms and the leadership team t-shirts.
STORM Team members assist with classes that are their own rank and below. For example, a Blue Belt student can assist with the Green-Blue Belt class, the White-Orange Belt class, and the Little Ninja class. They are not expected to teach the entire class, but are expected to help run a station, work in small groups for curriculum-based material, and get to know the students. We work on building leadership qualities and how to assist with classes during our leadership team meetings.
So, if you see "a kid" helping run the rail or work one-on-one with your child, it is because they are a member of the STORM Team.
The Counter Help
We currently have two fabulous mothers who volunteer their time to assist families at the counter while their children are participating in class. These ladies have been trained on the computer software that we use and know how to process transactions and register students for events. Nine out of ten times, they will be able to answer any question you have as well! If they don't know the answer, they will grab one of the McClellans to answer your question.
Our first parent volunteer is Mrs. Amy Gibson. When she is not at the taekwondo school, she is in operations and management in Optical. Both of her sons, Brennan (8) and Oliver (3), take class at MTA. Brennan is a Blue Belt and a member of the STORM Team while his younger brother, Oliver, is a Little Ninja Green Belt. The kids can refer to her as Ms. Amy or Ms. G while the parents may refer to her as Amy.
Our second parent volunteer is Ms. Tracy Dyckman. Her full-time job is a special education teacher at Gahanna Lincoln High School. She also has two boys, Carter (10) and Jack (7). Carter is very involved in baseball (and plays dodgeball with us whenever possible) while Jack is a Sr. Purple Belt at MTA. The kids can refer to her as Ms. Tracy while the parents may refer to her as Tracy.
Stop by the counter and say hi to our two new parent volunteers!