Good advice is a Good Thing, though it does you no Good at all if you don’t pay attention. It’s also Good to spread Good Advice, so here we are, doing Good. Today’s Saturday Screed is some advice on preceptoring (that’s our word, we made it up), or being a Good Instructor. It comes from someone who is a Good Instructor. Have a Good day. Mad Duo
Advice for the Would-Be Firearms Instructor
I recently had several people ask me what advice I’d give them, as they wanted to be firearms instructors. This is how I responded:
1. Find a mentor. When you have a good one, listen, watch, take notes, and ask questions.
2. Hustle. Be at the range (even when the PD isn’t paying you to be there). Do the work no one else wants to do. Shag targets, stack ammo and police brass. Pay your dues.
3. Master your craft, re-evaluate, and master it again. Be the first one to offer to demo every drill… make yourself valuable to the program. Take every class you can get your hands on (yes, you’ll have to pay your own way and take vacation for most).
4. Remember there will be many that are opposed to change and won’t like you personally along the way…. but be humble and personable.
5. Realize there are many ways to accomplish the same goal.
6. Understand that certs don’t make instructors… instructing makes instructors. If you want to be good at something you’ll have to do it… a lot. That means volunteering for the police academy blocks of instruction and other “less glamorous” gigs.
7. Look for work. Find a hole in your program and become the subject matter expert in that void. Read. Write real lesson plans… real ones (a skeleton outline several pages long does not count).
8. Give credit. Always give credit where credit is due. Always.
9. Remain honest. If you don’t know the answer, don’t make something up; just say, “I don’t know,” and then find the answer. If you trainwreck a demo (I have, and still do), own it. Then hit the range and master that train wreck.
10. Stay analytical and critically open-minded. Think outside of the box, but not for the sake of just being different or unique… your solutions need to work every time. People’s lives are at stake.
You need to always remember that qualifying does not equal gunfighting. Our duty is to the latter. It takes time, and it takes effort to be a good instructor, and that effort should never end.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.