Forums: Skydiving: Instructors:
Are Coaches the Weakest Link?

 

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kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 10, 2008, 11:49 AM
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Re: [billvon] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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>

Before I started teaching skydiving I spent a lot of time as a TA, teaching digital circuit design. Turns out I still had a lot to learn.

I'm sure you did. I'm also sure it wasn't the stuff they teach on the first day of "Circuits 1".

If you went for a better job as a digital circuit designer at a new company, what would you think if they said you couldn't get the job unless you enrolled in and retook the first week of Circuits 1 at your local community college and got a sign-off from the instructor who'd never actually designed a real circuit in his life?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Sep 10, 2008, 1:29 PM
Post #52 of 140 (1107 views)
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

>If you went for a better job as a digital circuit designer at a new company, what
>would you think if they said you couldn't get the job unless you enrolled in and
>retook the first week of Circuits 1 at your local community college and got a
>sign-off from the instructor who'd never actually designed a real circuit in his
>life?

I'd do it if I wanted the job, or keep my present job if I thought I was too good for any of that. I'd actually probably do it; it would be fun to see what they're teaching nowadays.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Sep 10, 2008, 1:48 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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you have to take and pass a course on pedagogy

I thought we weren't allowed to discuss that in here.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Sep 10, 2008, 3:46 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Well, I expect the FAA has it all wrong. After all, they only collect actual DATA on their CFIs, whereas the USPA relies on the tried and true method of guessing about the outcomes of its instructor training program.

I don't know if you're wrong or right, but I do know that I would be fired from my job if I had the attitude that I had nothing else to learn.

With good cause, I might add.

_Am


pilotdave  (D License)

Sep 10, 2008, 4:58 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally I don't care if the FAA has it right or wrong. They're a giant government agency. They do lots of stuff that the USPA doesn't do... sometimes better, sometimes worse. I don't disagree that it's silly to make a good teacher take a few hours of classroom on the basics of how to teach... no argument there. But I would also be kinda pissed if I found out the USPA spent a dollar of my membership money putting any effort into changing their rules/procedures for such a meaningless issue that affects such a tiny number of members.

Would you be surprised if the FAA was wrong about something? Smile

Dave


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 10, 2008, 5:53 PM
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Re: [AndyMan] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Well, I expect the FAA has it all wrong. After all, they only collect actual DATA on their CFIs, whereas the USPA relies on the tried and true method of guessing about the outcomes of its instructor training program.

I don't know if you're wrong or right, but I do know that I would be fired from my job if I had the attitude that I had nothing else to learn.

With good cause, I might add.

_Am

So if they sent you back to junior high to sit through an INTRODUCTORY class with the kids - would that affect your opinion on the value of the training?

It's not like the CD of a coach course is ACTUALLY a high level education specialist. How many of the CDs are actually certified educators? The one I had was a retired soldier.


(This post was edited by kallend on Sep 10, 2008, 5:55 PM)


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 10, 2008, 6:02 PM
Post #57 of 140 (1045 views)
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Re: [billvon] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>If you went for a better job as a digital circuit designer at a new company, what
>would you think if they said you couldn't get the job unless you enrolled in and
>retook the first week of Circuits 1 at your local community college and got a
>sign-off from the instructor who'd never actually designed a real circuit in his
>life?

I'd do it if I wanted the job, or keep my present job if I thought I was too good for any of that. I'd actually probably do it; it would be fun to see what they're teaching nowadays.

Hookers do strange things for money too.

Now, how valuable would it be to your ability to do your job designing cell phone systems to sit through two or three hours of circuits 1 again?

Let me emphasize - we're discussing someone who is a professional full-time educator having to sit through a very BASIC, very short course in education designed for complete novices, taught by someone who has far far less experience in education than the professional educator.


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 10, 2008, 6:02 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

We're all sorry. We all know that you're the best teacher to ever have lived and can not learn anything from anyone who isn't a full tenured university professor with at least 1 PHD.

I'm just glad you're not an AFF-I, I would hate to see your FJC and how you would pump your ego through your students.Unsure


JohnDeere  (D License)

Sep 10, 2008, 6:11 PM
Post #59 of 140 (1036 views)
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Any GOOD teacher is more than willing to listen to another teacher teach! Even if not to learn the matierial but to learn different way to teach different types of students. But then again i thought every teacher knew thatCrazyUnsure


Jumpah  (D License)

Sep 10, 2008, 7:53 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
>If you went for a better job as a digital circuit designer at a new company, what
>would you think if they said you couldn't get the job unless you enrolled in and
>retook the first week of Circuits 1 at your local community college and got a
>sign-off from the instructor who'd never actually designed a real circuit in his
>life?

I'd do it if I wanted the job, or keep my present job if I thought I was too good for any of that. I'd actually probably do it; it would be fun to see what they're teaching nowadays.

Hookers do strange things for money too.

Now, how valuable would it be to your ability to do your job designing cell phone systems to sit through two or three hours of circuits 1 again?

Let me emphasize - we're discussing someone who is a professional full-time educator having to sit through a very BASIC, very short course in education designed for complete novices, taught by someone who has far far less experience in education than the professional educator.

Eh, a silly point. Its an hour or two...big deal. Don't get stuck in the tiny details. I got my rating from Jay Stokes...I hardly think of him as someone who has "far far less experience in education than the professional educator"


(This post was edited by Jumpah on Sep 10, 2008, 8:04 PM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Sep 11, 2008, 2:45 AM
Post #61 of 140 (1007 views)
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Re: [JohnDeere] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Any GOOD teacher is more than willing to listen to another teacher teach! Even if not to learn the matierial but to learn different way to teach different types of students. But then again i thought every good teacher knew thatCrazyUnsure

LaughLaugh
Arrogance does have its place in the world...it's just so lonely and cold way down there.

IMO, it's never a bad idea to take advantage of learning opportunities...no matter how much you think you know.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Sep 11, 2008, 2:50 AM)


denete  (B 33880)

Sep 11, 2008, 4:51 AM
Post #62 of 140 (1004 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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We're all sorry. We all know that you're the best teacher to ever have lived and can not learn anything from anyone who isn't a full tenured university professor with at least 1 PHD.

I'm just glad you're not an AFF-I, I would hate to see your FJC and how you would pump your ego through your students.Unsure


I agree that this attitude is a bit disturbing, and again I go back to the thought of 'what are you hiding'. I have a Masters degree in education, have been instructing people in how to do physical things that aren't natural for just over twenty years, and spent nine years as a full-time teacher...and I would absolutely go through the course anyhow. I also hold strong the belief that I don't know everything, and I can learn from any and every situation.

For those who are interested in the 100 jump debate, do a quick web search on 'tacit knowledge'. It might bring up some good thoughts on why experience is very important in order to get to a point where you can communicate to another person the things that you are "naturally" able to do.

$.005

- David


peek  (D 8884)

Sep 11, 2008, 5:37 AM
Post #63 of 140 (991 views)
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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Something I find strange about the coach rating is that professional teachers must still take the teaching instruction. I simply don't believe that a few hours of instruction in pedagogy will make the slightest difference to someone who already teaches for a living, not do I believe that a few hours instruction will make a teacher out of someone who has never taught before.

In contrast, if a professional teacher wishes to become a certified flying instructor (CFI) they are exempted by the FAA from the teaching requirement of the CFI course. Given that the FAA does a better job of keeping track of what CFIs do than USPA does of keeping track of what coaches do, and have not identified any problems with that policy, maybe USPA could learn something from the FAA.

John, I think you are going to need to just give up on these guys. (I have read all the posts below this one I am responding to also.) They don't seem to be understanding that what you are talking about is the requirement that a professional educator take such a _basic_ course.

Back when they came out with the BIC I was wondering, "Where is the list of people that are considered to have enough basic teaching experience that they do not need to attend a BIC?" There was none.

There also seems to be some confusion about what the FAA does well. (Yes folks, they do some things _very_ well.)


pilotdave  (D License)

Sep 11, 2008, 11:30 AM
Post #64 of 140 (965 views)
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Re: [peek] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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They don't seem to be understanding that what you are talking about is the requirement that a professional educator take such a _basic_ course.

I think everybody understands exactly what he's talking about. We just don't see the big deal. What are the cons to taking such a basic course? What are the pros to skipping it?

Dave


peek  (D 8884)

Sep 11, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Re: [pilotdave] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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What are the cons to taking such a basic course? What are the pros to skipping it?

It is a waste of time for a professional educator, and insulting as well.

We have a hard enough time convincing professionals to get skydiving instructional ratings. (As we all know {don't we?} the true professionals are the people that are professionals at their "real" jobs and bring that professionalism to skydiving instruction.)

Skydiving is more than learning how to go through the motions of teaching a "category" (or "level" if you prefer). It is about understanding people and using judgment, something that professionals in other careers can bring to skydiving.

I continue to be amazed at how well some "part-time" instructors can be, you know, ones that only come out to the dropzone every 2-3 weeks, and instruct a student or two if all the other instructors are busy. It simply amazes me to watch them work. Their professionalism overwhelms the entire process.

Compare this to the person who decides their real job sucks, goes to some Coach and Instructor courses, and then "lives the dream" of being a "pro" skydiver.


pilotdave  (D License)

Sep 11, 2008, 12:25 PM
Post #66 of 140 (949 views)
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Re: [peek] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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It is a waste of time for a professional educator, and insulting as well.

It's insulting that theres only one set of rules and that exceptions aren't made for anybody? If you're insulted by that, maybe you're just a tad oversensitive?

Don't get me wrong... it may very well be a waste of time. So are a lot of things. We could make all sorts of exceptions for all different people that come to this sport with knowledge in all sorts of areas. Should pilots be able to skip parts of the FJC that they should already know? Should lifeguards have to take water training to get a B license?

Quote:
Compare this to the person who decides their real job sucks, goes to some Coach and Instructor courses, and then "lives the dream" of being a "pro" skydiver.

I wouldn't know what you're referring to... no full time skydivers at my DZ. Smile

Dave


(This post was edited by pilotdave on Sep 11, 2008, 12:26 PM)


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Sep 11, 2008, 3:43 PM
Post #67 of 140 (929 views)
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Re: [peek] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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It is a waste of time for a professional educator, and insulting as well.

It's a waste of time for me to sit in class and listen to the same concept be explained for the third time because someone in the classroom doesn't get it. But I want that college degree so there I sit.

It's a waste of time for me to sit in class and listen to a teacher talk about things completely unrelated to the course topic. Rather insulting as well, since I paid to learn about the course topic, not about the teachers personal life, political views, etc. But I want that college degree so there I sit.

There is really no difference between the above wastes of my time and the waste of a "professional educator's" time who has to sit through an hour or two discussion of basic pedagogy to get a USPA coach rating. Well, other than the fact that a lot more of my time is wasted by "professional educators" in class than is wasted on pedagogy in a coach course.


(This post was edited by skybytch on Sep 11, 2008, 5:38 PM)


peek  (D 8884)

Sep 11, 2008, 4:41 PM
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Re: [skybytch] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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But I want that college degree so there I sit.

I understand those points. Unless I misunderstand you, they are based on an endless number of people wanting college degrees, so they do what it takes.

We do not have a huge number of people wanting USPA ratings, so my point is that we should not insult those who want their ratings and already have experience in basic instructional concepts.


labrys  (D 29848)

Sep 11, 2008, 5:00 PM
Post #69 of 140 (915 views)
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Re: [peek] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
We do not have a huge number of people wanting USPA ratings, so my point is that we should not insult those who want their ratings and already have experience in basic instructional concepts.

I'm not a "full time professional" teacher, but I have been teaching part time at both Kent State in their engineering program (years ago) and at the University of Akron in their continuing education program for nearly 15 years. I don't have Kallend's academic credentials by far and certainly can't speak to any training he has. But I do know that I've met tenured professors who can teach, and others who treat students as though they were an inconvenience to be tolerated while they managed research and published.

I've been told that I am a very good teacher. I've gotten enough feedback to think that I am a good teacher. I hope that I truly am. I know that I'm never uninterested in learning new things about teaching at the least.

That said, after 12 years of teaching young adults and mature adults in a university setting, I learned a great deal when I took the Coaching course 3 years ago. I learned about techniques used to teach adults under physiological stress, for one. I've applied some of what I learned there at the dropzone to my land-based classrooms and I think it added value.

I think, only my opinion, that a truly good teacher is a student first and always. I think that a truly good teacher can learn almost any time and anywhere and should never distain the opportunity. I honestly think that a truly good teacher never becomes so far removed from their students that they think they don't have anything to learn from them while they teach.


denete  (B 33880)

Sep 11, 2008, 5:30 PM
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Re: [labrys] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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...a truly good teacher can learn almost any time and anywhere and should never distain the opportunity. I honestly think that a truly good teacher never becomes so far removed from their students that they think they don't have anything to learn from them while they teach.


Hear hear! The best quote in the entire thread.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Sep 11, 2008, 5:36 PM
Post #71 of 140 (915 views)
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Re: [labrys] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I think, only my opinion, that a truly good teacher is a student first and always. I think that a truly good teacher can learn almost any time and anywhere and should never distain the opportunity. I honestly think that a truly good teacher never becomes so far removed from their students that they think they don't have anything to learn from them while they teach.

<standing ovation>


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Sep 11, 2008, 5:54 PM
Post #72 of 140 (910 views)
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Re: [peek] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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We do not have a huge number of people wanting USPA ratings, so my point is that we should not insult those who want their ratings and already have experience in basic instructional concepts.

Well, do we not then insult pilots by requiring them to sit through explanations of landing patterns? How about former airborne soldiers when we explain PLF's?

I'm currently taking two World History classes; they are required for me to transfer. I've already passed two semesters of Western Civ and two semesters of Asian Civ, so I've already learned and been tested on much of what is being covered in my current classes. Should I be insulted that I have to sit through another repetition of the same information? Or should I be glad to get a chance to review what I already know and possibly learn even more?

Oh, and speaking of pedagogy - isn't teaching skydiving just a bit different than teaching math, history, physics, literature, etc? I doubt that a pedagogy that includes a lot of classroom discussion (like the pedagogy many teachers use for teaching, say, history does) would be suitable for teaching someone how to do a backloop... but I could be wrong.


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 11, 2008, 7:14 PM
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Re: [denete] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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I have a Masters degree in education, have been instructing people in how to do physical things that aren't natural for just over twenty years, and spent nine years as a full-time teacher...and I would absolutely go through the course anyhow. - David

As I have already done.

I strongly suspect you would find, as I did, that what you hear about are the rudiments of a few of the things you have been doing for the past 20 years, and nothing more. It is, after all, a *BASIC* course designed specifically for *NOVICES* and lasting less than one day, not a continuing education course designed for those who HAVE been teaching for 20 years already.


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 11, 2008, 7:25 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

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We're all sorry. We all know that you're the best teacher to ever have lived.Unsure

Don't know about THAT...

I wasn't going to mention it, but since YOU bring it up, I am the person who was chosen as the mentor for new teaching assistants AND new assistant professors, and I do have 5 "Excellence in Teaching" awards - two more than anyone else in the 115 year history of our school. Smile


(This post was edited by kallend on Sep 11, 2008, 7:39 PM)


JohnDeere  (D License)

Sep 11, 2008, 8:21 PM
Post #75 of 140 (876 views)
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Re: [skybytch] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I think, only my opinion, that a truly good teacher is a student first and always. I think that a truly good teacher can learn almost any time and anywhere and should never distain the opportunity. I honestly think that a truly good teacher never becomes so far removed from their students that they think they don't have anything to learn from them while they teach.

<standing ovation>

X 3


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