It’s a question that tends to get raised at all the wrong times, and not something that really gets thought about all that often, normally not until there is a problem. But when it comes to something as important as instructing within education and training of any person, whether it be school students or mature adult students, the ideal is where any student is taught by a ‘good teacher.’ But what exactly makes a good teacher?
Right or wrong this is a question that has many subjective answers. And this is a good thing. If the quality of an instructor was purely measured in hard objective indicators then there would be a convergence of instructional skills and techniques and the art (and skill) of teaching would take on a very linear, predictable pattern.
It not usually something that you think about when you’re preparing lessons but an important factor regarding training outcomes, is How long should a lesson be? The other perspective is how long can a lesson take to deliver properly?
I said previously that training is expensive, and more often than not you may not have the time you need to do a subject justice. The chances are there will be external factors that dictate how much freedom, time and space you’re going to have when it comes to delivering training. When those external factors become too restrictive, as an instructor it’s our job to push back and demand more resources to get the job done right . . . otherwise you may as well not do it at all.
Students who struggle in school is nothing new. But there has definitely been much more attention around this subject in recent times, particularly with @pallavisinghal_ article stating that 42% of surveyed parents reporting they have low confidence in the current schooling curriculum and 44% being unsure. This leaves only a whopping 14% of surveyed parents believing that the schooling system is ‘suitable’ and yes this is a deductive conclusion.
“This training should only take about 15 minutes to deliver. It’ll be quick and pretty simple so . . . I can’t imagine it taking too long.”
This comment is something that I’ve heard a few times recently and more times than I can count over the years. It’s the same phrase that creates a little smile on my face as I now realise another capital instructional offense is about to be committed.
But seeing it happen again and again, it makes me wonder a few things—why do we tend to rush training? More appropriately why do we think that we can teach people quickly? Why do we fail so badly?
I just read recently that if you spend long enough following someone on social media you’ll learn who they truly are—they’re political alignment, they’re sense of humor, they’re beliefs etc. To an extent I find this to be true, especially when someone’s back is up to the wall, you’ll see their true nature. You’ll see what they will do to survive, and who they’ll sacrifice along the way or . . . you will see something extraordinary.
You also get to learn about people as they observe things. There are those who will watch the world go by and criticize everything around them without knowing anything about what they’re talking about, and then there are those who will blindly say that everyone is simply trying their best no matter what the outcome or effort is—and they are only two ends of the spectrum.