Get Trained. Be Ready.

Building your Business as a Trainer: Be a Good Instructor

There’s going to come a day when all eyes are looking up, staring at you.

They took time out of their busier-than-ever lives and traveled . . . to see you.

They made room in their budget (some planning months ahead), and they are handing over their hard-earned money . . . to you.

You might be wondering at this point: Who are “they”? Well, let me tell you. They are your future students. And you are their Firearms Instructor. And, of course, what you offer to your future students largely depends on the quality of your instruction. It depends on how well you were trained and your willingness to continue to develop yourself as an instructor.
No matter what you’ve heard, not all Firearm Instructor Certifications are the same and not all Firearms Instructors are all the same

Sometimes it’s tough to determine who is reputable and who is not. You could find yourself in a class where the instruction is ambiguous and presents information in general terms. Some instructors fill their courses with stories from their own experiences. Telling you what their “preferences” are – basically, a class of opinions.

Actually, it can get worse. Much worse. You might find yourself sitting there, staring down at the ground, wondering “when will this ‘teaching’ ever end?” And, as you wait, you get to hear snippets from your instructor reminiscing about his experiences “Back in the Nam.” He’ll finish his story . . . eventually.

That’s when you get to walk to the front of the room and receive your certificate.

You are now an instructor. Or, are you?

Teaching beyond the curriculum - How to pass your knowledge, skill and passion on to others

One of the big realizations for me, when I was going through continuing education as an instructor, was the whole concept of teaching beyond-the-curriculum.

Of course, as teachers, we must present everything relevant to the course and put you, our instructor candidate, into a position to qualify for certification. However, teaching is much more than some simple “check all the boxes” formula. We also need to teach you how to teach.

I like to keep a framework in mind as I teach. I picture my years of study and experience as a 55-gallon drum of knowledge. And I imagine a new student, coming to our course, carrying a 5-gallon bucket. (I have plenty of experience carrying a 5-gallon bucket myself. My fellow instructors and I participate in continuing education regularly). Fitting 55-gallons of information into a 5-gallon bucket is impossible. Instead, our goal is to give the BEST 5-gallons we have for the students in the context of the course we are teaching.

Experiential is always the best way to learn. We want our students to transform into confident instructors. When we give the best, most useful knowledge in the context of the curriculum, we set our students up for future success. If a certification requires a minimum test score or a shooting qualification score, so be it. But we do not want to limit instruction strictly around those objectives. Our courses go beyond: We want you to learn how to teach. That's one reason we recommend team teaching whenever possible - see Team Teaching article here.

There is a reason the motto of the Intuitive Defensive shooting program we teach is Truth and Utility – Veritas et Utilitas. We want you to have the knowledge (truth) of Firearm Instruction, but we want it to be useful (utility) in your life and your future students’ lives.


Choosing the right instruction lays the foundation for future success

“Everything is professional. The knowledge, experience, and attitude of Rob & Tim are phenomenal, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. As a matter of fact, that’s why I came to this class – because of my experience at my Instructor Development Class” – Billy P.

“I feel very confident as an Instructor and Range Safety Officer” – Robin D.

We know that we have done our job when you leave with confidence in your abilities to teach. Confident that you can now transmit your knowledge to other people.

The world doesn't need MORE instructors – rather, we need GOOD instructors.

You have a choice to make: What type of teacher are you going to become? In the original movie “The Matrix”, Morpheus presented Neo with two pills. And, now, you are presented with two options. One - take the blue pill, go back to sleep, and wake up to be just another drone out “teaching.” Or, two, take the red pill and become an instructor who genuinely wants his students to walk away better than when they arrived. Your choice.

When you are a good instructor, committed to the success of your students, you realize that you are there for them, not the other way around.

You will know if you made the right choice by a simple metric: You will be able to say that your instruction attracts new students, affords them an opportunity to achieve their personal goals, and they spread the word and take more courses from you. Your teaching has real world application in the lives of your students.

If you would like more information about our Firearms Instructor courses, reach out to us. We stand by to help.

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