Good afternoon, Teaching first class

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Good afternoon, Teaching first class


Post by keepfiringllc » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:08 pm

Good afternoon everyone, I have decided to put my certification to use and will be instructing on my first LTC course in a couple of weeks. Pretty excited and a little nervous, wanted to get some good tips or info on preparing for my first course, things I know I need: Solid PowerPoint,test, answer sheets/key, demo/dart guns, 51% signs, 30.06/30.07signs , ear pro, first aid kit , great attitude, keeping students engaged. Range and classroom already secured , what are some of the things you will help a new instructor with getting started. Thank you for your help in advance and wish me luck

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Re: Good afternoon, Teaching first class


Post by twomillenium » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:03 pm

Sounds like your good to go. Let us know how it went. Oh, and welcome to the forum.
Texas LTC Instructor, NRA pistol instructor, RSO, NRA Endowment Life , TSRA, Glock enthusiast (tho I have others)
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Re: Good afternoon, Teaching first class


Post by Mike S » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:11 pm

Welcome to the forum. Here's a few things to consider as you get your classes going:

1. Learn the search function on this forum if you have any questions regarding what the Penal Code says, or means. If you can't find where it's already been asked, ask. Someone will be able to answer it, or point out the reference (or link to where it's already been asked).

2. Don't 'wing it' (you'll lose credibility). If any questions come up in class, be honest if you don't have the answer. It's better to be humble and tell the student that you don't know, but will research it and get back with them. Once you get the answer, be sure to follow up with your students with both the answer and references to where they can find the information (ie, Penal Code subsection xyz).

3. Manage your time, & rehearse your presentation to see how long each block will take to cover thoroughly. Don't cut corners & just flip slides (or read your slides verbatim); actually engage the audience & present the materials in a way that ensures understanding. They can read the slide as you explain the topic on the slide.

3a. Print out a draft Training Schedule, & make a note of how much time you spend on each subject; this will enable you to adjust accordingly how much time you budget for each topic & fine tune your presentation for future classes.

3b. If you have any relevant video or media clips, incorporate that into your full dress rehearsal to ensure everything works with the equipment you'll actually be using in the classroom. Check from the perspective of where the students will be seated; is the audio clear & is there a glare or other distraction that will detract from what you're trying to convey? Also, keep the materials relevant.

4. You have 6 hours to cover 4 classroom topics. Don't race thru it, & budget in adequate time for interaction, discussion, & questions. But keep all discussion relevant to the topic at hand; if anyone doesn't 'like what the law says', now's not the time to debate what it aughta be. (Politely let them know that's a discussion they should have with their State Representative or Congressman / Congresswoman, then get right back on topic).

5. Have a few relevant vignettes or cases to help illustrate some of the material, as appropriate. However, avoid 'war stories' & 'no kidding, there I was...' tangents. If it's a relevant vignette, or helps illustrate the subject it can be value added. This goes for you as the instructor, as well as you managing what the students share. Remember you need to manage your timeline, & certain students will talk incessantly if you allow it (detracting from the learning environment for everyone else). However, don't stifle meaningful interactions; you can learn alot from your students, as many of them will have life experiences that you can draw from.

6. Try to identify the possible learning styles that resonate with the students in your class (and there may be different styles in each class). Do periodic 'checks on learning', asking the class questions to review what's been covered (but be mindful of those who may be timid & don't embarrass anyone). Have a 'flow' to your presentation.

7. Know the demographics of the area you teach in (looks like you are in the Austin area). Your role is to present the materials in the DPS Course Outline, not your social/political views, or sell products / self-defense policies. Be mindful that it's not only Conservative / Republicans / Christian / heterosexuals / males who value self defense or have concerns about their family safety, or value the 2nd Amendment. I've had the gamut of personalities in classes, from all kinds of backgrounds, and most don't seem to be single-issue voters. (When I mention this to some people, it blows their minds that a Democrat / Liberal / etc would actually own firearms, get their LTC, & carry on.). If we're wanting to be good stewards of the 2A, we don't need to alienate those who are seeking knowledge and skills; they may go on to influence their peers as well. (There's already a thread running on this topic; The Annoyed Man speaks pretty articulate on it in his post).

8. Avoid sales pitches, or having a representative from any outside organization give a pitch to your students; even if the students don't mention it during the class it will tend to turn them off. If the topic comes up from a student, I don't have an issue with briefly discussing the topic (telling them I'm a member of XYZ but also naming several of the others to keep it balanced, explain that statistically the sky isn't falling, & that they need to research what each of the different options cover & make the decision themselves if they determine they want it). For me this only comes up if the student asks; remember, no need for tangents or distractions. You have plenty of relevant material to fill the time.

9. Visit the range your going to be using, & think ahead about how you will conduct the Proficiency Exam. If at all possible reserve a private bay to avoid distractions.

9a. Have a coherent & comprehensive safety briefing, to include emergency procedures. Ask the range what their protocols are, & incorporate that (no need to start from scratch).

9b. Clearly explain the scoring procedure, & the conduct of fire. Reinforce that if the course of fire isn't clear, to ask. Also let them know that you will give them the commands to fire; don't assume they will know that 'a single shot exercise' means you will tell them when to shoot that one shot, & that each one is timed separately. Also have a policy for Negligence Discharges, let them know what it is, & enforce it. (This should be an automatic failure/retraining/re-test, or an automatic removal from the range, but let them know it up front so they understand the gravity of the matter).

9c. Keep the number of students on the firing line manageable for safety, keeping track of who's rounds went off after time has expired, etc. Consider how many students you can control on the firing line at one time, & how many firing orders you will need to have based on the number of students registered (and where you'll stage the ones not on the firing line). I'd suggest an instructor:student ratio of no more than 1:6.

9d. Invest in a shot timer, & rehearse using it. You can also use a stop watch, phone app, etc, but the shot timer will hold everyone accountable, is as easy as pressing a button, & you can show the student when they exceeded the time limit.

That may be more than you were asking for, so hopefully there's something in there you can use.

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Re: Good afternoon, Teaching first class


Post by RossA » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:48 am

I always tell students that I don't want to waste time with two things:
1. My opinions. What gun/holster/ammo should I use? Etc., etc. Do I think the law should be changed to such and such? I tell them that after class and testing I will be happy to let them buy me a beer and we can talk about my opinions, but that is not part of the curriculum and will simply degrade into a time wasting debate.
2. "What if's." "So what if this guy pulls a knife on my, but he's still 20 feet away, can I shoot?" "What if someone threatens me, and I think he might have a gun, but he hasn't shown it yet, can I shoot?" I remind them of the laws of self defense and that only they, in that moment, can make the decision of whether there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. Every situation is different, and all I can do is teach them the law, make sure they understand it, and that it is their own responsibility to make that call when the moment arrives.
Get a couple of friends or family members to sit through an actual FULL presentation of your class the way you plan to teach it. Bribe them with dinner or something. You will be surprised at how some parts will go more quickly than you anticipated and some may take longer, especially if there are more questions than you expected.
God and the soldier we adore,
In times of danger, not before.
The danger gone, the trouble righted,
God's forgotten, the soldier slighted.

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Re: Good afternoon, Teaching first class


Post by mloamiller » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:21 pm

Make sure you have the correct "long" B27 targets, not the "short" or "econ" versions that some places sell (and don't always clearly identify).

I created a couple of checklists for my own use:
1. A checklist of all the materials I need for a class (all the things you mentioned, and anything else you might add over time). Before each new class, I print out a copy just for that class and physically check things off, to make sure I didn't forget something.

2. A checklist that breaks down the shooting proficiency into individual strings - what distance, how many shots, how many seconds. I find it very easy to lose track of how many shots have been taken when I'm also watching all of the shooters, so the checklist makes it simple.

You might also want a stopwatch or a timer with a loud enough "beep" that it can be heard by those wearing ear protection. I've only had one student really get close to the time limits, but it's good to have something to measure them by, just in case.
LTC Instructor
NRA Pistol Instructor, RSO

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