Of late I have had the privilege of attending a few of my nephew’s little league baseball games. It is very cool to be in a place in my life where I can come show my support for him. I played little league baseball so this was also fun on its face. But it got me thinking about something else, this meditation on little league and tactical pageantry. I hope my attempt at metaphor isn’t too far gone and that this offers some food for thought.
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!
It has been quite some time since I have attended a pistol class. I’m not a GM or anything, but I have a decent level of skill with a pistol, and handgun classes just haven’t been a training priority for me over the past few years. This year I ran across the Cognitive Conclave, a pistol class offering something different and I had to do it. This is a detailed, after-action review of that class.
“This 3-day class is an aggressive immersion into the challenges of surviving with minimal gear in a field setting. THIS IS NOT A BUSHCRAFT CLASS!” “Significant stressors are placed upon the student in the forms of hunger, physical exertion, thirst, lack of gear, personal discomfort, and sleep deprivation as a means to simulate a 72 hour survival scenario.” “BE WARNED: THIS IS NOT AN EASY CLASS!” These warnings were all present in the literature for the Randall’s Adventure Training Field Survival Course.
I would like to pose question to my instructor friends out there: why do you teach? I hope the answer is something along the lines of, “to provide my students with valuable information.” Poor time management can completely interrupt the learning process. I’ve written about respecting students’ time before. Today I’m going to delve deeper into the idea of time management for instructors, using a bad example.
I recently mentioned attending some outdoor Search & Rescue training. The class wasn’t bad but there was definitely some poor instructor behavior. I’ll be honest, I thought I had seen it all until began attending public safety training. Here are a few instructorship lessons that may help make your classes better.
Yesterday I attended Shotgun Skills with FPF Training. Taught by Tim Chandler and Ashton Ray, this is my first formal shotgun class. Bottom line up front: if you’re looking to improve your existing shotgun skills or gain new ones, if you want to tame the monster and turn it into a pet, you should consider this class.
I have attended a number of classes in which instructors struggle when answering student questions. The problem isn’t a lack of knowledge; the instructors generally know the answer. The problem is they don’t know how to systematically provide the answer to the class. I hope this tutorial on answering student questions helps a few instructors out there.
We are all familiar with the term, “Death by PowerPoint” and for good reason. Poorly designed and poorly presented PowerPoint presentations can suck the life out of the most dedicated student. PowerPoint is one of the most misused and misunderstood instructional tools out there. It’s really fun to bash PowerPoint; it’s much less popular to admit it can be a highly effective instructional tool if used well. Here I offer you a guide to using PowerPoint well.
I wrote “Lessons Learned as a Professional Instructor” over three years ago. It is still one of my favorite things I have ever written. I wrote it at a time when I made my living surrounded by other professional instructors. At the time I was burdened with the idea that all instructors possessed some level of professionalism and pride in their craft. The paramedic class I have almost finished has taught me this is not the case. Here are some basic recommendations for running a high-value class.