January 7th, 2012 11:36 AM
Greenhorn daughter as instructor - how to prepare?
Short version: how would you tell your daughter to prepare for becoming a CCW instructor?
My 22-year-old daughter has a healthy interest in self-defense, evidenced by her taking Krav Maga and the CCW class, getting a concealed carry license at 21, and carrying when she can. She's a good shot against stationary targets, and the two of us went to an IDPA meet once (with unimpressive results). Even discounting parental rose-colored glasses, I believe she's one of the clearest thinkers and most self-controlled people I know. However, both of us are relatively untrained - certainly by comparison with the folks here!
The two of use visited a local gunshop the other day and the proprietor asked if I knew any women who taught CCW classes. There is an upsurge in demand for classes for women in our area and a woman instructor may be less intimidating to raw newbie students. I presume that there is similar interest and need throughout the country.
Discussing the visit later, my daughter expressed an interest in becoming an instructor herself. She cited an author who said the best way to improve the school system would be to move teachers from their area of expertise to a new field, so they would 1) avoid assuming the student shared with them the same passion for the subject, 2) empathize with the student hitting something new, and 3) concentrate on the basics rather than the interesting non-essential topics that appeal to the expert. Thus she feels her lack of experience in the subject could actually be turned into a strength, and she would like to meet the needs for women wishing to have training. When my daughter is in town over vacations, folks could shoot on our farm, and when she's away at school there's a range a short drive away. In her college town she has a church family of several thousand, and the theology and conservative nature of the group suggests that a goodly percentage of the ladies there might be interested in such training. Call it a ministry, if you wish: the poor need soup kitchens and a whole lot of women need to carry.
I'm aware that there are costs associated with the training and liability insurance, but there's a much deeper question:
What do you all think she should do to prepare (or should she consider this at all)?
My thought is that a good teacher needs a curriculum and a boatload of good stories to tell to illustrate the points. The NRA would have the materials or they could be borrowed or purchased from another instructor. For storytelling, if I had a list of topics I'll bet I could assemble for her a great reading list from this forum (and my daughter is a voracious reader and can retrieve stored knowledge quite easily). But I recognize that I'm pretty close to the situation and have a very predictable ego involvement in wanting her to be an instructor.
So... reality check request:
- If it's a good idea but could be improved, how would you counsel us?
- If this is a stupid idea, how could it be turned into a good thing?
- If the idea is altogether ridiculous, well, it's better I hear it from friends...
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice -
January 7th, 2012 11:52 AM
If your daughter is interested in becoming an instructor, I think it behooves her to get as much instruction herself, first. A key element of effective teaching is doing so with the advantage of perspective - i.e., knowing the difference between what a Rob Pincus or a Mas Ayoob or a Jeff Gonzales would teach. Repeating a canned curriculum is good, but working with that curriculum as a core while providing "color and texture" to the discussion is powerful.
I'd recommend that your daughter spend some time with the likes of Kathy Jackson (Cornered Cat), Gila Hayes (Firearms Academy of Seattle, The Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc.), or Heidi Smith (Thunder Ranch) as well as credentialed instructors of the male persuasion to get some good grounding. The NRA Instructor Certification is a good step, but I personally see that as "necessary but not sufficient" for being an effective instructor.
NRA Endowment Member
January 7th, 2012 10:05 PM
Originally Posted by gasmitty
I think Gasmitty hit all the highlights. Good advice. it boils down to, she needs to get as much training and instruction as possible. In her current state, she probably isn't anywhere near where she would need to be to become an instructor.
January 8th, 2012 07:47 AM
Kinda what I figured - thanks Gasmitty and TNMike! I'm guessing she would want the training, so it's really just a mere matter of time and money...
I'm still interested in other comments, of course, but if we don't get many other replies I'll assume most readers pretty much agree with these two.
January 8th, 2012 10:36 AM
One thing that is unique about instructing is that it's not just about what you can do with a gun but whether or not you can help someone else... ANYONE else... do the same thing.
Being able to diagnose a shooter's problem and find a way to fix it is also a skill that comes with time and experience and gleaning ideas/experience from other students, instructors, shooters and classes.
Yes, going to classes and getting more experience will help her greatly but I strongly recommend she find another experienced instructor of good repute in the area she can assist and observe. Being an assistant range officer and just watching the instruction and how to interact and diagnose students is going to be some great experience. She needs to be careful to watch with a critical eye, however, and see what is working and what might not be working and how she can use both the positive and negative to build her own experience.
Being unable to diagnose and fix a shooters errors (which there will be A LOT of in your average beginner) is going to result in frustrated students who feel they've wasted time and money and will lead to bad buisiness.
I had a great opportunity to watch and assist four different instructors over the course of an entire year and I think it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I got to see the different styles and experience, glean some very valuable techniques and tricks and see a VAST range of students from handicaps to children, people with big egos and those who were scared to death and the possible ways to work with and get them to a place they need to be.
When my husband and I teach now if there is a student who is having a particularly hard time my husband always passes him (or her) off to me and I have yet to have a student walk away with unsatisfactory targets. I say this not out of pride but out of appreciation for the excelent training I got NOT in how to shoot (in 99.9% of these classes I observed and assisted in I never fired a single shot) but in how to deal with students, diagnose, encourage, challenge and get them in a place where they want to be as a new shooter.
Whenever I go to a new class, in addition to paying attention to what is being taught I try very hard to glean a little bit about HOW it's being taught and if any student is having a problem (including myself) I pay VERY close attention to the ideas and instruction to see how to diagnose the issue and how it's overcome.
My experience is limited to new or newer shooters and the basics or defensive shooting. If asked to teach an extreme close quarters class or building clearing, etc, I would be way out of my league and would have to refer my students elsewhere.
January 8th, 2012 11:24 AM
I don't know much about what it takes to be a shooting instructor but as a retired teacher of over 35 yrs., I know that there's a lot more to teaching than knowing the subject matter. Some of these things cannot be taught. It's hard to explain but some of the smartest people make terrible teachers. Some of the best teachers I ever ran into were more intuitive than pragmatic. The best teachers have unlimited patients, compassion and a good sense of humor. Oh, in this day and age, if you're going to do anything related to guns and shooting, I would recommend a good umbrella liability insurance policy.
January 18th, 2012 08:26 AM
Update: I've been corresponding with a very nice fellow who teaches such courses near my daughter's college. She's planning to take his course as a student and each can see if they would like to set up a shadow/helper/observer/assistant situation for future classes. Based on that experience (and the fatherly advice I expect he'll give), she may pursue the instructor plan through advanced courses and such.
They also have an IDPA group out there, which I will be encouraging her to join, whether or not she pursues instructing.
Thanks, all, for the reality check.
January 18th, 2012 11:17 AM
It seems like you are on the right track... make sure she has enough material to actually be worthwhile. I cannot stand the "instructors" who take a weekend NRA course and now they are knowledgable enough to teach others. Most of the time, these types do far more harm than they do good.
Also, what gungeezer said is spot on. I have a ton of info floating around in my head, but I'm a terrible classroom teacher. I can show you what to do in the field or on the range. To be a truly good CCW instructor, you need both. I pair up with another guy who is good at the classroom stuff. Just beware of that.
February 19th, 2012 11:00 AM
I agree with the above comments. Learning to become a good teacher in the classroom is a learned skill. I recommend taking several classes from different instructors on the subject and take notes on their teaching styles, class format, props, role playing, etc. If they supply a handout, that would also be good to compare teaching notes against. The best concealed carry class I have ever taken was an 8 hour course with a live fire qualification shoot at the end. It was very sobering and discussed not only concealed carry but also the legal ramifications of having to use your gun in defense.
I can't P.M. you, your inbox is full.
Conservative, Gun-Toting, Backwoods, College Educated, Hetrosexual, Male
February 24th, 2012 09:58 PM
Originally Posted by Nosler Guy
February 24th, 2012 10:00 PM
In our defense (I'll be taking the course as well)... gotta start somewhere!
Originally Posted by SIXTO
But I'm interested in your remark about the ill-prepared instructor causing problems: I'll be starting a new thread on that and would love to have your contributions there.
March 3rd, 2012 02:38 AM
He pretty much said it all right here. Cornered Cat is a great resource for women and guns. This post could not have been written better in my opinion.
Originally Posted by gasmitty
March 3rd, 2012 11:07 AM
Some great advice in the posts above, but in a word the best thing your Daughter can get is EXPERIENCE! I don't think there is anything you can teach that doesn't benefit from at least some real world lessons.
EOD - Initial success or total failure
March 3rd, 2012 01:06 PM
OK, I'll bite: experience at what, and how? Obviously you're not suggesting that she put herself at risk so she can pop some attacker. But what sort of experience does she (or do I) need? Here are my ideas, put forth to encourage comments from others:
Originally Posted by rstickle
* More classes: I would love to see her take gasmitty's advice above. Add Suarez, too;
* More bookwork: memorize Ayoob, Fairburn, Paxton Quigley and the like;
* More internet research: memorize Cornered Cat, and spend time here;
* More classroom experience: hang with some good instructors and watch what they do;
* More range time: learn how to shoot, and how to help a poor shooter improve.
Other ideas, or comments on my list?
March 3rd, 2012 07:40 PM
I guess I like my instructors to have some time actually carrying, and some training and range time, you know, experence. I feel memorizing other peoples classes doesn't mean you are qualified to to teach...
Originally Posted by Paymeister
EOD - Initial success or total failure
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