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Thread: Please recommend good instructor's courses

  1. #1
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    Please recommend good instructor's courses

    I may be in the un-enviable position of needing to provide some basic training in my area, to fill a need for a good number of beginners.

    My experience level is decent in the general sense, but pretty modest vis a vis the experience level on this forum. Please refer to the classes I've taken in my "about me" page for reference. I have given informal lessons to beginners before, with, I believe, acceptable results.

    So I'm exploring the issue.

    If I agree to give people lessons, I feel like I ought to charge a nominal fee, just to eliminate people that are not serious, and to cover range materials, and possibly some sort of insurance? The more I think about it, the less I want to do it actually.

    If I was to charge a fee, I would want to get some sort of certification. This would be pretty expensive these days, given ammo costs, and also because I don't live within easy driving range to a course. When I lived in the DFW area I could have gone to CSAT that offers instructor's courses. When I lived in N. GA I could have taken a course from Tom Givens. Ammo is another obvious problem now.

    I now live in N. AZ. and Gunsite is close, but I have to see if they even offer instructor's courses. Frankly I'd rather take the Tom Givens course, and the CSAT course, but traveling will be an issue.

    Is NRA instructor certification worth considering? Will it be the low hanging fruit to reach for to start with?

    Again, currently, this is in the realm of thought experiment and data gathering only. But I can think of no better place to ask for help regarding exploring this issue than in this forum.

    Thanks y'all!

  2. #2
    Unreconstructed Moylan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DacoRoman View Post
    If I was to charge a fee, I would want to get some sort of certification.
    Why?

    Certification as such is meaningless. Your training resume suggests that you have a pretty solid background and are more than knowledgeable enough to be able to teach the basics to beginners. The idea that you need a certificate that says so before you can do it....that's a mistake.

    If you are actually saying that before you teach, you'd like to spend some time with a master teacher learning how to teach, then that's different and of course it's a wonderful idea, especially if you're not very comfortable or confident teaching people, or if you've never put together any kind of lesson plan, or whatever. But certification for certification's sake is, in my opinion, pointless.


    Is NRA instructor certification worth considering?
    IMHO, no. The NRA doesn't teach you how to teach, it walks you through reading their slides to your students, at least at the low levels. In their instructor classes, you don't read slides in front of real students, and you don't coach any real students on the line. Just fellow instructor students. I'm not sure how things work in their higher level classes like PPOTH.

    One alternative to the NRA is Project Appleseed, which I'd like to plug for. Their instructor training program is like the NRA's in one sense, because they don't teach you to design a curriculum, they teach you to deliver theirs. But in other ways, it's radically different, because you're doing this live, running real firing lines, coaching real paying students, and giving real instruction. The program is best known for its traditional rifle marksmanship program, but they are rolling out a pistol program now, too (roughly similar to NRA Basic Pistol, but better, IMHO), so you can get both rifle and pistol certified, depending on how active Appleseed is in your neck of the woods. And it's dirt cheap. You must shoot at two Appleseed clinics as a paying customer, which is very cheap, and then after that the instructor training program is all free, since you're working for them as a volunteer.

    I'm not saying you need these certifications (see above!) but I am saying that Appleseed presents an inexpensive way to get meaningful instructor certification if you want it, and simultaneously to get real experience teaching, all while doing some important volunteer work teaching people about our American heritage, and spending time at the range with some super high quality people.

    (Hopefully it's obvious that nothing I've said above is meant in any way to suggest that I'm somehow arguing against taking an instructor class with someone like Tom Givens. If you have the opportunity, there are all kinds of reasons to pursue that. I'm just talking in a context where you're trying to think through alternatives since classes like Givens's are a long way away and might be very expensive for ammo and travel related reasons.)

  3. #3
    happy sharps enabler Totem Polar's Avatar
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    The above post about covers it. I’m not big on paper creds—and I say this as a university faculty member. The only thing I’d observe is that your resume—which is pretty cool so far—is skewed a bit towards high speed. Maybe look at a more civilian/edc course (eg. Givens et al.) as a longer range goal for some ideas and POI structure and then get after it. JMO.
    ”It's important to remember that ALL news media is a consumer product. Just like soda and fast food, they don't have any incentive to make it good for you, just addictive enough for you to keep coming back for more.”
    -Nephrology

  4. #4
    Hobbyist JAD's Avatar
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    I think Givens would do an unmatchable job of teaching your how to teach. While you may have to travel he goes to places that are cheap.

  5. #5
    Site Supporter Kanye Wyoming's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD View Post
    I think Givens would do an unmatchable job of teaching your how to teach. While you may have to travel he goes to places that are cheap.
    What he said. I took the instructor class this past August and I feel confident now that I have the tools to take someone who is below a 6 out of 10 up to a 6, maybe even a 6.5.

    I happened to take a gander at the Rangemaster schedule just now and in April Tom is holding several instructor classes in various parts of Texas. Not quite an easy drive from Northern Arizona, but an easy and probably a cheap flight.

  6. #6
    Great question!

    Related threads:

    Becoming an Instructor
    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....-an-Instructor

    NRA Instructor Certification VS Anything else...
    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....-Anything-else

    The journey of becoming a firearms instructor. Advice requested.
    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....vice-requested

    So you're an instructor, hm?
    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....-instructor-hm

    NRA Certified Instructor
    https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....ied-Instructor

  7. #7
    Site Supporter
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    Midwest
    What JAD said.

    Tom Givens is one of the last 1st Gen post Cooper pistolcraft
    masters still teaching.

    He understands that the pinnacle of pistolcraft was not reached in 1980 or 1990 or 2000.

    Like all high level bodily kinesthetic endeavors, pistolcraft and the teaching of the same is an evolving, breathing thing.

    Take his instructor class while you can.
    I am not your attorney. I am not giving legal advice. Any and all opinions expressed are personal and my own and are not those of any employer-past, present or future.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moylan View Post
    Why?

    Certification as such is meaningless. Your training resume suggests that you have a pretty solid background and are more than knowledgeable enough to be able to teach the basics to beginners. The idea that you need a certificate that says so before you can do it....that's a mistake.

    If you are actually saying that before you teach, you'd like to spend some time with a master teacher learning how to teach, then that's different and of course it's a wonderful idea, especially if you're not very comfortable or confident teaching people, or if you've never put together any kind of lesson plan, or whatever. But certification for certification's sake is, in my opinion, pointless.




    IMHO, no. The NRA doesn't teach you how to teach, it walks you through reading their slides to your students, at least at the low levels. In their instructor classes, you don't read slides in front of real students, and you don't coach any real students on the line. Just fellow instructor students. I'm not sure how things work in their higher level classes like PPOTH.

    One alternative to the NRA is Project Appleseed, which I'd like to plug for. Their instructor training program is like the NRA's in one sense, because they don't teach you to design a curriculum, they teach you to deliver theirs. But in other ways, it's radically different, because you're doing this live, running real firing lines, coaching real paying students, and giving real instruction. The program is best known for its traditional rifle marksmanship program, but they are rolling out a pistol program now, too (roughly similar to NRA Basic Pistol, but better, IMHO), so you can get both rifle and pistol certified, depending on how active Appleseed is in your neck of the woods. And it's dirt cheap. You must shoot at two Appleseed clinics as a paying customer, which is very cheap, and then after that the instructor training program is all free, since you're working for them as a volunteer.

    I'm not saying you need these certifications (see above!) but I am saying that Appleseed presents an inexpensive way to get meaningful instructor certification if you want it, and simultaneously to get real experience teaching, all while doing some important volunteer work teaching people about our American heritage, and spending time at the range with some super high quality people.

    (Hopefully it's obvious that nothing I've said above is meant in any way to suggest that I'm somehow arguing against taking an instructor class with someone like Tom Givens. If you have the opportunity, there are all kinds of reasons to pursue that. I'm just talking in a context where you're trying to think through alternatives since classes like Givens's are a long way away and might be very expensive for ammo and travel related reasons.)
    Thank you very much for your thoughts and great information, you've given me some great things to consider for sure!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totem Polar View Post
    The above post about covers it. I’m not big on paper creds—and I say this as a university faculty member. The only thing I’d observe is that your resume—which is pretty cool so far—is skewed a bit towards high speed. Maybe look at a more civilian/edc course (eg. Givens et al.) as a longer range goal for some ideas and POI structure and then get after it. JMO.
    Yes, I totally get what you are saying about my skewed resume, good points. Thank you for your input!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD View Post
    I think Givens would do an unmatchable job of teaching your how to teach. While you may have to travel he goes to places that are cheap.
    Thanks for your input...I'm really starting to chomp at the bit to take that Rangemaster Instructor Development course at some point.

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