Readers familiar with my flight blog will know that I have had tremendous struggles with learning to fly. Not only am I finding the material and the skill set rather overwhelming, but
Determined to do something other than just whine about it, I recently offered a 1.5 hour training session for the Ground School instructors as part of their staff meeting, at the invitation of the school's Chief Flight Instructor. (They are all great pilots and most are pretty good flight instructors, but they have little to no actual "teacher" trainging.)
Although it was just an introductory session, I tried to model as many brain compatible instructional tools, tactics, organizers and strategies as possible (i.e. TPS, KWL, movement, visual synectics, etc.) As is often the case with "command performances", many of the instructors were somewhat less than delighted at being there. Some even fabricated sick relatives or important family committments in order to avoid coming. (Fair enough; I had not been the ideal student in their classes; why would they want to sit through a presentation of mine? Afterall, they didn't know me as a teacher!) Nevertheless, I pressed on.
As a follow-up to the session, I volunteered to work with anyone interested to co-plan (and if desired, co-teach) their Ground School session. Two instructors took me up on the offer.
At first, I was discouraged by the low number.
Tonight, I am brimming with optimism!
After several emails and a 2.5-hour planning session (and lots of extra work on the part of the instructor in question), tonight's class was incredible!!! Almost every person in the class spontaneously sung the praises of the new classroom arrangement (we had moved the tables into groups, rather than rows) or the different teaching approach or both.
What a gift to watch this young, enthusiastic instructor "begin as he means to go on" (it was his first ever GS class, and he was -- as one of my fellow students observed -- a "natural"), and what a delight to witness the much-enriched learning of other new flight students.
It was a night well worth the many hours of discouragement and hard work previously!
I am optimisic.