What does it take to be an “Instructor?”
‘Instructors’ in ep/cp (whatever you want to call it) is some what of a taboo conversation. But as a ‘trainer’ as I prefer to be called, I look for the following (in addition to many other qualities) and please keep in mind this is about a weekly interest so I have to deflect a lot of people interested in instructor positions.
1. Technically and tactically proficient.
This should be a no brainer – you have to know what you are doing. The difficult part is maintaining your proficiency. It takes a constant devotion to the craft. As my Sgt Instructor at OCS said, “Everybody wants to ‘say’ they are a Marine…but most won’t do what it takes be a Marine.”
2. Contemporary experience.
It simply does not matter how they did it 5, 10, 15+ years ago…you may be able to guest speak and share stories but if you are going to teach a topic you need to understand the modern dynamics of the job.
Knowing what to do and teaching what to do are two very different things. I want to know you can teach. It is a very specific, rare skill. Experience alone does not make a good instructor. As Ivor Terret said it, “All good instructors are experienced, not all of the experienced are good instructors.”
Last and most importantly, a strong passion for the job is incredibly important as anything less is insufficient IMO.
To be good at what you do, you need to know the basics really well, have experience applying them, and experienced having learned things the hard way. Also, you need to have experience teaching all while demonstrating that is is not just a job, but a hobby and part of who you are.
Some good links – while they may not seem to apply directly or be titled as such, give them a read and you will see the relevance:
Via Joe Autera
Via Dean Simko