I have written previously that an instructor should be able to give an introduction in no more than 90 seconds. This was in response to some (too) long instructor introductions that went into way too much detail. I have recently come to realize the opposite is true – it is possible to give way too little detail. This article is a guide to effective instructor introductions that give students everything they need and nothing they don’t.
I attend a lot of training and get to see a lot of student gear lists. I have some thoughts on these lists for all the instructors out there. The ideas here apply regardless of what you are teaching, from a close-quarters gunfighting course to a photography seminar to a sushi-rolling class. Short story: keep your student gear lists updated, simple, and clear.
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!
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.
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.
I recently saw a post on a gun blog† that said military and former military personnel are unqualified to teach civilian firearms classes. There is a kernel of truth to this statement, but while the words have traveled widely, their meaning has been left in the dust. Let’s look at the argument that military guys can’t teach CCW, then let’s clear this up, shall we?
Though this post might look like an article about archery, it’s actually about being a rank beginner at a physical skill. Though my goal in taking up the bow was to learn archery, I’ve already learned something much more important: what it’s like to be a beginner. It sucks to suck, but there are some valuable lessons here for instructors.