What do you want out of a firearms Instructor?

Byrd666

Flyin' 'round in circles........somewhere
Dec 24, 2012
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Hill County
This question was posted on another site and I found some of the answers quite interesting. I'd like to get ya'lls opinion on this. This is generally firearm related but, other disciplines could be included.

Basically, I like a professional demeanor without a lot of cussing or cursing. Knowledge of the subject in which they speak. And the ability to show the attendees about which they do speak with skill and ability. Along with the ability to ascertain certain difficulties some of the students might be having. Whether that be trigger control or off hand drawing methods.

Thoughts or opinions.
 
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SIG_Fiend

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-Above average detailed level of knowledge on the subject they are teaching. These days, everyone has "watched a Magpul" video and thinks they are an instructor. It takes a lot more thought, personal experience, and trial and effort to learn the things that you mentioned, as a student, let alone an instructor that understands adult learning methods and can realistically pass that info on to students.

-A solid understanding of adult learning methods. Everyone doesn't learn the same way. Everyone has their own unique idiosyncrasies, fears, pain points, etc. to work through. An instructor needs to be able to read body language, figure these things out, and figure out the best way that they can help the student.

-Performance on demand. If an instructor isn't willing to demonstrate what they teach whenever requested by a student, with an above average level of proficiency and performance, they're bullshit. If an instructor has detailed explanations as to why they will not demo a drill or technique when asked to do so...they're bullshit. Bottom line, the instructor needs to have a respectable level of performance. This shows that they have put the time and effort into their own skills, that they have pushed themselves. They not only need an ability to teach, they need to have the performance to back their words up with actions.
 

txinvestigator

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May 28, 2008
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Ft Worth, TX
Two things I look for: safety and credibility. Can the instructor authenticate the practicality of what he is teaching? Why does what he teaches make sense?

Does he manage a safe range?

After that I look for the example he sets.
 

Vaquero

San Saba Songbird
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Apr 4, 2011
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-Above average detailed level of knowledge on the subject they are teaching. These days, everyone has "watched a Magpul" video and thinks they are an instructor. It takes a lot more thought, personal experience, and trial and effort to learn the things that you mentioned, as a student, let alone an instructor that understands adult learning methods and can realistically pass that info on to students.

-A solid understanding of adult learning methods. Everyone doesn't learn the same way. Everyone has their own unique idiosyncrasies, fears, pain points, etc. to work through. An instructor needs to be able to read body language, figure these things out, and figure out the best way that they can help the student.

-Performance on demand. If an instructor isn't willing to demonstrate what they teach whenever requested by a student, with an above average level of proficiency and performance, they're bullshit. If an instructor has detailed explanations as to why they will not demo a drill or technique when asked to do so...they're bullshit. Bottom line, the instructor needs to have a respectable level of performance. This shows that they have put the time and effort into their own skills, that they have pushed themselves. They not only need an ability to teach, they need to have the performance to back their words up with actions.
Performance.
Same thing I look for in anybody I pay money to.

Well said sig.
 

Shooter McGavin

Active Member
Jul 26, 2012
857
36
Free Texas
All the above are great points, safety being paramount and I'd like to add.
Being open minded about techniques and methods, there's usually more than one way to do something. The preferred method for the instructor doesn't necessarily mean it has to be the preferred method for each student. Demonstrating the pros and cons of different techniques allows the student to choose which one works best for them and their equipment.
Make the learning environment an enjoyable one. Well Hell Yeah busting caps is fun all in itself but having an instructor that's encouraging, interactive, and can crack a joke even on themselves sets the tempo for a positive and productive atmosphere.
And simply just being prompt, courteous, and professional.
 

benenglish

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-A solid understanding of adult learning methods. Everyone doesn't learn the same way. Everyone has their own unique idiosyncrasies, fears, pain points, etc. to work through. An instructor needs to be able to read body language, figure these things out, and figure out the best way that they can help the student.
+ many

There are too many examples of great shooters with incredible knowledge who can't teach their way out of a paper bag. I'm willing to accept an instructor who's actually a mediocre shooter with just basic a basic knowledge base IF they also have the natural talent to teach. Most people don't have it. In the shooting world, there are too many self-identified alpha dogs who want to be paid to dole out some of their shooting genius from the mountaintop. I don't care how many firefights they've survived or how many championships they've won, people who can't teach simply shouldn't.

I know of one great shooter who has managed to put together a great teaching program even though he's not the best communicator in the world. He brings along another shooter who is almost as accomplished and a great natural teacher. His name brings in the students. His co-conspirator does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to actually teaching. And between the two of them, they'll see whatever you're doing wrong.

He's the only real top-shelf shooter I know who recognizes his limitations, admits them, and put together a program that works.

Most great shooters without the teaching gene have too much ego to admit they need help. Man, oh man, they can be a waste of time and money.
 

SIG_Fiend

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Feb 21, 2008
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As others said, SAFETY would be number one. All of the experience and paper "qualifications" in the world don't mean jack if the person running the class is an idiot. Yes, this picture is real. This from a guy who has apparently trained over 10,000 students, and has a list of paper certifications a mile long.


11522931505_b04578ae69_b.jpg

confidence by Dillo Dynamics, on Flickr
 

Byrd666

Flyin' 'round in circles........somewhere
Dec 24, 2012
4,907
113
Hill County
Funny. I once had an "instructor" real similar to that. And he ended up arguing with me in front of all the others who were there because I mentioned how unsafe he was in some of his range etiquette and practices. In a very polite and non threatening manner I had said this to him on the side by the way. The whole class ended up walking out on him.

So I do understand that the safety factor is a very high priority. As well as just plain ol' common sense. Which he had neither of. It is a major factor to me as well.
 
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Handgun World

Active Member
Mar 26, 2011
250
16
San Antonio
-Above average detailed level of knowledge on the subject they are teaching. These days, everyone has "watched a Magpul" video and thinks they are an instructor. It takes a lot more thought, personal experience, and trial and effort to learn the things that you mentioned, as a student, let alone an instructor that understands adult learning methods and can realistically pass that info on to students.

-A solid understanding of adult learning methods. Everyone doesn't learn the same way. Everyone has their own unique idiosyncrasies, fears, pain points, etc. to work through. An instructor needs to be able to read body language, figure these things out, and figure out the best way that they can help the student.

-Performance on demand. If an instructor isn't willing to demonstrate what they teach whenever requested by a student, with an above average level of proficiency and performance, they're bullshit. If an instructor has detailed explanations as to why they will not demo a drill or technique when asked to do so...they're bullshit. Bottom line, the instructor needs to have a respectable level of performance. This shows that they have put the time and effort into their own skills, that they have pushed themselves. They not only need an ability to teach, they need to have the performance to back their words up with actions.

Excellent, The only thing I would add, is the instructor must care about his/her students. It's something that can't be taught. You will know once you're a few house into the class. Read the reviews by other students, about the instructors' class. You'll learn a lot from that too.
 

no2gates

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Aug 31, 2013
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Grand Prairie, TX
Teaching is a gift. It doesn't matter how much you know about a topic if you can't convey it to others and make it interesting.
I try to teach my wife about both guns and computers. I've been in the computer field for over 30 years and know a lot about most aspects about the field, however I suck as a teacher so she's better off with someone who knows less than I do, yet can convey it better and engage her.
 
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