Friday, April 04, 2008

IDC - training inadequate?

The Instructor Development Course (IDC) is something that every instructor has to endure. The course is fairly demanding and tries to cover many different areas, ranging from legal to marketing to presentation skills. Generally, I think that the PADI curriculum works well and prepares instructors adequately.

However, I have some suggestions and thoughts of how to make the IDC more relevant and appropriate to what we will be doing as instructors.

Some background: for the last three years or so I have been a staff instructor assisting in teaching IDC's at our local dive store. So my experience is from both sides of the IDC - first as a candidate instructor and later as a staff instructor.

My major problem with the IDC is that it does not seem to equip the candidates adequately on how to conduct classes. By the time I completed my IDC I knew how to prepare and deliver a skill presentation and how to teach a topic in the class. The thing is that we do not equip the candidates to conduct a class as it is going to be delivered in the real world situation.

When I started teaching classes, I really did not feel ready to teach the class. Technically I was ready and able to deliver the information, but did not feel confident about presenting a class from start to the end on my own. For example, I did not even know how to complete the student folders (instructor's portion).

Obviously we all learn on the job, and get through the initial jitters. However we can make the IDC's a little more practical and ensure that the instructor candidates are ready for the real world teaching situation.

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