Swift | Silent | Deadly

ATP Podcast 041 – How to Teach a Class

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Welcome back to the Across The Peak Podcast, the show Where Rich and Justin discuss preparedness, the birds and the bees, guns, history, tattoos, and… well, basically all the stuff your old man shoulda taught you! After a four-year silence we are re-releasing the ATP archive, including this never-before-aired episode:¬†Across The Peak Episode 041: How to Teach a Class. This show was supposed to air on 04/03/2019, but it was never edited and never listened to (even by us), so you’re hearing it for the first time!

How to Teach a Class

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What are you drinking?

Rich’s Drink: Chocolate milk
Justin’s Drink: Sculpin Spruce Tip

A couple more things from the intro. First, the new tire pressure gauge was necessary because I went from passenger tires to L/T tires on my Crosstrek.

Next, here’s Rich’s fence-mending kit. I think we are all relieved to know that Rich no longer has the horses.

The Nuts and Bolts

This was a phenomenal episode! As promised, the notes from our outline are here:


1. How to Teach a Class: Know Your Content

– Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
– Don’t teach at the outside edge of your knowledge
– Know your content at least a “layer” deeper than you are teaching
– Never B.S. a student
– Provide context as necessary
– Anticipate questions

2. How to Teach a Class: Develop a Stage Presence

– Act like you know your content; be confident (BODY LANGUAGE: Mirror & Match using your body to shut down sidebar discussions without interrupting your presentation)
– Learn to work from the “T”
– Hands above the belt line
– Smile
– Attack the corners
– Don’t read off of a powerpoint
– Avoid jargon and acronyms
– Use humor, but do it sparingly (warning!)
– Be professional, keep profanity to a minimum (don’t)(well…)
– Avoid filler words and pet words (ah, um…)

Develop Your Content

– Elements of emotional appeal: Analogy, Statistic, Quote, Humor,

3. How to Teach a Class: Rehearse

– Begin by teaching class to your furniture
– Full dress rehearsal in front of a small group
– Video/audio record yourself

4. How to Teach a Class: Own Your Training Environment

– Make a positive first impression
– Tidy up/clean up as needed (what is the best arrangement of desks and chairs)
– Make it look like you give a shit
– neatly align all books, handouts, etc.
– make sure every seat looks the same

5. How to Teach a Class: Interacting with Students

– Handling questions: confirm/answer/verify (RAC: Re-state, Answer, Confirm) Discuss handling abusive questions.
– If you don’t know, say “I don’t know”
– OK to joke around, but keep it PROFESSIONAL

Some models to help you teach

– EDIP: Explain, Demonstrate, Imitate, Practice
– PESOS: Prepare, Explain, Show, Observe, Supervise


Rich’s rapport-building mnemonic: FORM Family Occupation Recreation Military

Don’t worry folks, that one doesn’t cost extra!


Book of the Week

The Art Of Instruction: Your Guide to Instructional Excellence by Michael Seeklander


Hindsight/Behind the Scenes

This was an amazing episode! You can tell – or at least I could – that I was really in my comfort zone on this one. I wasn’t super excited to listen to this one but I was thrilled at how good it was!

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