A few months ago I wrote about a staff instructor class that I was taking. The class eventually ended a few weeks ago and I thought that I would like to write some of my reflections and thoughts on the class. Just to fill in those who might not be familiar with what a staff instructor is, please click on this link to a description.
The first thought that springs to mind about the class is how different it was to be an evaluator of presentations. When I completed my instructor training, I remember the presentations to have been judged very strictly. I suppose most will have the same feeling of things being more difficult in "their day".
The second reflection is how much I enjoyed watching the instructor candidates develop and grow in their confidence and ability.
The third reflection is how my own instruction has improved. Every time you teach something you learn it again. It is commonly believed that to really learn something you should teach it.
If one wants to be good at anything one should keep growing and developing. To be a good instructor takes more than just great personality and people skills. I think it takes work, preparation and dedication. In my opinion, a good instructor makes the material come alive and makes the difficult material look easy. A good instructor will find a way of unpacking the theory so that the students not only learn it, but understand why it is important and are able to apply it. I am not a trained educator, but I believe that the better prepared and trained I am, the easier it is for me to present the class and the more the students enjoy the class.
Even though I am glad that the course is over, I feel a little empty at the same time. My dive buddy (the Navigating Phenom) completed the staff instructor class with me. NP suggested that we staff the next IDC (Instructor Development Course) so that we can apply what we learned and keep developing our skills. Perhaps focusing only on the students success and not being concerned about passing the SI course will make the IDC a lot of fun. I dove with the dive master candidates a few weeks ago (they are the ones who will be doing the next IDC) and found them to be a great bunch of people. I will write more on my adventures with the next IDC as things get started in few month's time.
Thanks to our course directors for a good class.