You want to be the best instructor you can be. You are willing to spend time and effort to get better.
Scoping Your Goals
Be as specific as possible. Be realistic considering your background, available time and finances, age, and the effort you are willing to expend.
Developing Your Plan
Set your goals to a master time line.
Determine the prerequisites needed to attain your goals.
- Set the prerequisites on the master time line.
- Every time changes are made to the master time line, review all tasks/activities to make
sure everything can be accomplished according to the new master time line.
Picking Your Tools to Work With
There are many aids to becoming a better instructor, some tools are better suited for different personalities. Try as many as you can and pick those that work the best for you.
Tools to Improve Your Instructing
- Know the course material inside and out
Read the course material (cover to cover) the day before every course you are instructing, in addition to intense study of small sections on a regular and frequent basis.
- Quantify and document all valuable information you gather at clinics/discussions and file in an orderly manner for future review (and review regularly);
- Attend Instructor Development Clinics, Seminars, etc;
- If you must be selective about the clinics and seminars you attend, match the level of the
seminar to your level of development to obtain maximum benefit.
- You must instruct often to perfect and maintain your skills
- Get feedback!!! Instructing without feedback provides limited benefit to your development. Feedback can be comments from mentors/instructors you trust or having someone tape your performance for later review.
Review of video of your instructing
- Have someone video your course.
- Review the video as soon as practical after the event
- Critique yourself - look at your movement, posture, voice level etc. as well as review of how you answered participant questions
- Review the tapes with a colleague you have confidence in. Let him/her provide a critique and discussion as the tape is watched again.
- To gage your progress, occasionally review older tapes of your past instructing and make comparisons with your current instructing
- Work with someone of greater expertise who will provide you guidance, critique and encouragement as well as serving as a role model for you.
- To be effective, mentoring requires the dedication of both individuals, teacher and student alike.
The mentor should:
- develop with the instructor a plan and schedule for the skill improvement
- Review in detail the progress being made by the student and compare it to the plan
The instructor should:
- Utilize as many of the above mentioned tools for improvement as possible
- Accept all critiques in a positive manner and document them for later review
- Defined as groups of instructors (of approximately the same certification and experience level) who band together providing many of the same benefits as the mentor program without having the teacher/student relationship
- Open discussion in great detail is encouraged
- Intense critiques are possible with resulting discussion leading to enhanced understanding of course presentations and common thought processes
- The group should continually seek guidance from other higher level instructors to gage their activities and assure they do not go off on a tangent
- Continually strive to improve your instructing performance.
- Do not become complacent when you reach any of your goals, but instead set new goals and if age or some other obstacle blocks higher certification levels; there are still personal performance goals you can set for yourself outside of certification and the like.
- The better instructor you become, the harder it will be to see improvement in your performance
- Guard against Backsliding