After just finishing up most of the practical and lecture training for the last firefghter I class for a county fire acadaemy, it leaves me wondering one of two things. We arent properly conveying the message of what we are trying to teach....or this was one of the most unmotivated disinterested groups. After alot of deep thought, I know there are ways I can improve my instructional abilities, however, we (our team of instructors) gave these people many opportunities to ask questions, we demonstrated things, showed videos, etc. What else is left? Is this an epidemic in todays fire service? We had people at the last few days of class still struggling to move a hose line through a building....and we spend alot of time practicing! I think what I'm looking for is how do you (other instructors) connect with students, especially difficult ones. These were all volunteers, where the only motivation comes form the heart, and some just didn't have it. Something else I see alot of is that if you teach a concept, the students grasp it so firmly they cant deviate (perhaps best described as the absense of initiative or common sense). How do you teach this concept....or can it only come from expierence? I'm interested in some feedback here....please help!!
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11-29-2004, 07:14 PM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
- Central NJ
Firefighter I: Connecting With Students
12-02-2004, 02:34 PM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 1999
- Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
Questions to ask is are the classes too large for the instructors, are there regular break periods and so forth. I've noticed that if the class goes on for more then an hour without a break, the class goes off into la la land.
The only thing I can think of is start off with something interesting, those first few minutes are where the tone for the class is set.
Good LuckNREMT-P\ Volunteer Fire Chief\Tactical Paramedic
Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.
12-13-2004, 03:38 AM #3
Have you asked the class what they think? Usually there are one or two you can talk with that will give you some insight. Did you do instructor/topic evaluations? Granted, a lot of the time they don't care or just blow sunshine where it doesn't naturally occur but some do put thought into it.
You are right that some people just don't have the heart where others are a joy to teach. When you do the practicals (i.e hose advancement) do you correct them as they go, and if so, how? Unfortunately I have seen instructors that beat their students down to where they don't want to ask questions or interact at all with the instructors. Has this occurred in your class? Unless it is a safety issue, I usually prefer to use a little humor/sarcasm to get the point across. That's just my way.
When you speak of connecting with students, do you take the time to just talk with them? It may not be in the classroom, it might be at the station. How about the rest of the instructors?
When you get started in the fire service there is a tendancy to look at things as concrete. This is probably what you are seeing in your students. Think back when you started, you were just like me, and your students, and didn't have the experience to know different. As you progressed you realized that things weren't as concrete as you thought. Sometime you have to see it done once or twice to figure out how everything falls into place.
Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions.
Walt.Train like you want to fight.
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