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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Post for Firearms Instructors

I enjoy going to classes. Even basic new shooter ones. I look forward to attending two to possibly six classes this year. If I show up in your class remember my motto: qui docet, discet. From the Latin it is translated as "who teaches, learns."

If this attitude is not instilled in you as instructor I may have reservations about you as one. I taught for over a decade at the local Community College, pedestrian classes covering basic networking, security and Web Design. I learned something from every class. The interaction of student and instructor can be profound. 

I have learned more about the delivery of instruction concerning the art and science of running a firearm from teaching than almost any class I have been in. This is not to dismiss my training and not meant to disparage any instructors I have had to date. I have learned much from them. I hope I learn more from others. 

If you start teaching me "big boy rules" and totally ripping apart my gun handling techniques without telling me why in a logical manner we will not get along. 

This Instructor told me. He is an excellent Instructor. 



  1. Hummm - I suspect there is a bit more to this post that meets the eye. :) I would agree with the premise that every instructor learns from the courses they teach. I think the trick for me is to listen to what the students are saying. In my "day job" I teach folks to use my software product - and if I don't listen, I simply can't fit the product to their facility as well. They know how they need the product to work much better than I.

    Carrying this forward to teaching the use of weapons for personal defense, the same concept carries through. Everyone is in the class for a different reason, at a different level and needs a slightlly different "touch".

    Every class is an adventure! :) Enjoy the journey!

  2. @eiaftinfo- There is nothing unsaid here. It is not a warning to my future instructors nor is it a plug for a previous one. I will blame this post on the pain meds for a molar extraction today.

    As you say, every students motivation is different! Just as every instructors.

  3. Classes are so much better when the instructor takes it as a group of individuals rather that one big homogenous blob. I could never teach the blob and hated instructors who treated me as such. Each of these parts are not like the others and are not interchangeable. What works for one will not necessarily work for another and constantly trying to cram square pegs into round holes using the f&%$ing Tactical Hammer and Arrogance really irritates me both as an instructor and instruction consumer. No one, NO ONE is so skilled and experienced that they have nothing left to learn.

  4. I agree completely... my graduate degree is in instructional (learning) design... and I too believe the key to being a good instructor is being a good learner...

    I love teaching the basic NRA courses... 'cause I always learn from each group of students... and I love taking basic and advance courses from others...

    I look back at how I taught my first firearm course... and how I teach now... I've learned a lot... how I teach adults verses how I teach 4H kids... how I teach those who've never held a gun to those who are veteran LEO's... I'm always learning... which helps me teach better...

    I don't teach to let my students know how much I've achieved... I teach to let them know how much they can achieve...

    Does that make sense?

    Don't blame the meds... it's a good observation...

    Dann in Ohio

  5. Yup, you've nailed the good-teaching experience. And if you're teaching but not learning in the experience, you're doing it wrong.

  6. I totally agree. You have to think that people that take advanced instruction are generally very serious about shooting. There is a lot of combined years of experience there to learn from. They may not have all the newest techniques, but they've learned a lot on their own already. If you discount that, it may be the new great epiphany you're dismissing.

  7. Trooper just ended his firearms instructor course (yeah, 3rd one since the dept doesn't recognize the others...) and there was a guy taking the course who was...not an instructor.

    When it came time to demo your designed course, he denigrated another classmate for the question asked. Trooper decided he could sit that demo out, thankyouverymuch.

    The best teachers are those who are still excited by questions.

  8. Thanks everyone! I agree with your observations.