Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Instructing: the act of imparting information. How many classes have you attended that the instructor either has no idea what he is supposed to teach or is obviously there for his own self aggrandizement?
The older I get, the more resentful I become of those who waste my time. I also am hyper aware of people who are obviously not prepared and try to bluff their way through a class. The little things show up first; they seem lost, they try to schmooze and be the party guy. My favorite is the instructor who will put on the mask of the big wig, so superior; he obviously has nothing to say but that doesn’t keep him from talking insistently. I too, however, love the sound of my own voice. But for me, there is always the overriding desire to send the pupil away with information that will serve them in an incident.
I have had the dubious honor of being on a wide variety of incidents: tornados, floods, blizzards, wild land fires, the Columbine School shooting, disease outbreaks, civil disorder, and hurricanes. Being on the dark side of age 50, I am over myself. These incidents have real consequences for real living people.
FEMA has issued curriculum for ICS classes. It is considered, tested and proven in the field. The books have been printed, the power point issued. The remaining wild card is the instructor. I happen to work for a company that values pure instruction. Yes, I know that I am blessed. We, as a company, deliver the ICS curriculum as it is written. We infuse the material with our own personal experiences to illustrate a point, but the material itself is unaltered. The written material then becomes all the more relevant when coupled with our field experience.
Imagine having a class taught by someone with no experience. It would seem all academic with a lack of field experience or testing. It is apparent, however, that the prevailing thought is that anyone can teach ICS classes. I vehemently disagree. The curriculum is too important to be left to amateurs. I assert that these classes must be instructed by those who have actually been on the ground in a command or general staff role.
In my previous career, there was an axiom: “If you dont have time to do it right, when are you going to have time to do it over?” There is too much at stake to have inexperienced, unwilling and unmotivated people delivering training.
Be prudent in hiring.
Training and Exercise Services Group Lead
The Blue Cell, LLC