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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just curious, we have some highly trained people here so I thought I'd ask.

Since there's not really any "degrees" in it, there's no governing entity, and while military/LEO experience may be a plus but not strictly a requirement, how does one become "officially" qualified to train another?

Is it like being a movie critic - if you can convince enough other people you're right, then you're considered an expert, or is there some kind of "bar exam"?
 

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Euclidean said:
...Is it like being a movie critic - if you can convince enough other people you're right, then you're considered an expert, or is there some kind of "bar exam"?
Euc,
If you're better than someone at something, it seems you could teach them something.

Other than that, the NRA has an instructor's certification. I took the instructor's course and it focused on how to present the NRA course, and purportedly develops the skills to talk to and teach people. The actually shooting part is can you slow fire and hit a paper plate at twenty feet.

But, I guarantee you that if you can shoot better than me or you know things that will improve my shooting, you can be my teacher!

I thought of you when I saw the title of an article in a "Soldier of Fortune" magazine. It said, "Those That Can, Do; Those That can Really Do, Teach." About time us teachers got some respect, right? :biggrin2:

Many of the big name schools have instructor's courses, but that's if you're gonna teach for them.
 

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Unfortunatly today we seem to have the state where anyone 100 miles from home who can con folks into paying ( thoes closer have at least a nodding accointance with him and just laff at him ) is now considered a trainer . Myself well I was appointed to the job by my chief , but never really felt myself to be more than a glorified range officer . If your interested then get all the training you can , collect certificates for your " GLORY WALL " lol , but really get all the training from a variety of sources you can , and then if you have the guift of being able to safely impart info on the subject ( not everyone can you know ) your on the right track .
 

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I do feel the course for NRA Instructor certification is a good way to go and that is biased toward teaching, for obvious reasons.

The course I attended did comprize IIRC all folks who had a very good degree of experience. Some LEO's, ex mil and like me, just folks with a lot of years under their belts.

I certainly would not consider training to be an NRA Instructor too viable without some reasonable background of experience - for sure being good at teaching is a great asset but also - it is IMO most beneficial to have evolved over time to the point where one's own abilities have become in most respects second nature, along with a good familiarity with most common platforms.

I do wonder about some ''trainers'' actual qualifications sometimes but in the end results will usually show up deficiencies.
 

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To become an NRA instructor:

Be able to shoot much better than qualification used by the NRA.

Have good knowledge, gun, both Semi auto and revolver, rifle, shotgun, or whatever you are teaching, you must know your subject.

Be willing to learn.

Be willing to teach others.

Did I mention 'good firearms knowledge'????

These are some of the things I look for in Instructor Candidates.

Something else important is to become part of a training team. It is difficult for one instructor to put on a course. Just too much to do. Even with a small class of candidates, I always have a second instructor to help me.

Remember 'Knowledge, Skill and Attitude'.
 

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KC - agreed, one instructor ain't enough.

When we do our Basic Pistol or Personal Protection courses we have usually five of us - we split the classroom subjects according to our own specialties and then too of course we have good instructor/student ratio in the range.

Usually two or more of us are certified and we'll pull in good experienced club memebers to assist. The course number we try to limit to about 15.
 

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Ditto what the others said. I would add that just going to an NRA Instructors course and getting certified is, or should be, merely a first step.

You should, or I would suggest, get as much additional training as possible. As KC said, "good firearms knowledge" is very important and you can't just get it by reading - you get it by 'doing'. You need to have 1000's of rounds per year downrange. You get it by listening to and training with other, more knowledgable, shooters. You get it by teaching and finding out what you don't know and then learning all you can about that particular deficiency. You get it by not assuming you know everything, because nobody does - you go to the NRA shows, SHOT show, gun shows, travel to and attend some different schools, attend some firearms-related legal seminars, participate in some competitive events, read, research, experience as much as possible and find a mentor - somene who's 'been there done that'.

And then maybe you'll be ready. I've been at it a few years and am still learning myself - I just attended another class this weekend! I would also add that after you get your initial certification and training and begin teaching, start by teaching total newbies - it is both frustrating and rewarding to take someone with almost no firearms knowledge and get them to start hitting the target with regularity. And you'll learn so much about yourself at the same time!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I wasn't considering doing this myself... or was I, subconciously?

At any rate I don't feel qualified to teach anything beyond bare basics... one must only teach what they know backwards and forwards for themselves. I even refer friends/family to other people... I don't want them to inherit any flaws I may have in technique!
 

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I've been an NRA certified Instructor for almost 20 years. Many of my friends have in the past, BEGGED me to get my Training Counselor's cert. and I have resisted for this main reason: Being a professional educator myself, I tend to have teaching standards that are too tough for the average enthusiast to meet, if that makes any sense. Being an expert in a field is one thing (a very GOOD thing) but being able to effectively communicate those skills to somebody who perhaps is totally ignorant of the subject matter is something else. Especially where the stakes might be life or death. I prefer not to carry that burden. I'll take responsibility for the folks I instruct. Thus far my students seem to have acquitted themselves very well, both on the street and on the battlefield. I like to think that maybe I had some small part in some of that. Judging by some of the letters I've gotten over the years, I have.
 

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Some training organizations offer their own certification to train for them. If you meet their standards you become an associate or affliate of their organization. The NRA offers a certification obviously. The NSSA and NSCA also offer trainer certification for shotgun sports only. To receive those certifications you have to meet their shooting and knowledge standards. There are also certifications available to professional trainers (IBSTPI). You send in a tape of yourself doing a presentation and take a written exam on principles of adult learning. They grade you and if you make it you get their little certificate and you can use their logo on your business cards.

As for firearms training it comes down to having a resume/reputation people will trust for training and good marketing. If you get people to come to your training and you do a good job then word of mouth will help a lot. No overiding certifications or standards to meet other than your own or the organization you chose to affiliate with.

-Scott-
 
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