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.
Lately I have been seriously thinking about the instructor’s burden: the duty an instructor of life-and-death topics has to his or her students.
Today I’m going to turn the instructorship articles around and talk a bit about the other half of the student/instructor equation: the student. I honestly don’t know what I’ve done more of in my adult life: teaching or being a student. As an adult I have spent thousands of hours in the student seat, and my learning has never stopped. It has slowed down significantly, and the chances I get to be a student these days are precious. Below are some tips on how to be a good student. This might be a standalone, or it might be a Part I….we’ll see.