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Feature Article: Teaching To A Higher Level
Because of the concentrated information that is being loaded
on the student in the beginning, I use a tape recorder so that
the material is available under less stressful conditions. This
allows the student to listen and make notes about unanswered questions
or concerns. With the instructional tapes as a guide the student
can plan a head for the next lesson. the first thing I usually
ask of a student is, "Are there any questions?" I average
over thirty minutes of pre-lesson ground instruction before every
flight. If a particular can be walked through, we walk it through.
Teaching is purposeful speech that is supposed to impart from
one, the teacher, to another, the student. The transmission of
knowledge is only a part of the result. More importantly the
purpose is the creation of desire to continue the process. Flying
is the name of the game and inspiration is the driver. However
dedicated and competent the teacher the desired result will not,
cannot, and may never occur until the student is ready.Readiness
is the prime receptor ingredient that must exist in the student
before learning, recognition and retention can occur. Readiness
can be created through inspirational teaching. Inspiration motivates,
removes doubts and creates success where success should not exist.
I use the FAA Instructor's Handbook from page 85 as a lesson plan
guide but I have many variations and supplements to the basic
requirements simply because I feel that the FAA requires only
a minimum and I don't teach to minimum skills. Prepare for the
lesson by reference to the syllabus and ;I very much recommend
that you call the instructor the night before a lesson to confirm
that you have read the related reading material from the FAA texts
or equivalent written in a more interesting style.
I have been known to be a difficult taskmaster in setting my performance
criteria for students. I admit to some tendency to press students
in their accuracy in flying a specific airspeed instead of accepting
the POH variable range. I admit that I expect my students and
pilots to be proficient in their radio work. We rehearse on the
ground and in the air until it meet professional level. I admit
that I expect taxiing skills be practiced and developed quickly.
I admit that I take a bit longer in soloing my students. However,
after my students solo they progress quickly and efficiently in
their ability to fly solo between airports of all kinds and complexity.
My students use trim for all changes of configuration; they fly
hands off and use only two fingers on the yoke.
My students have been exposed to crosswinds up to 18 knots at
90°. They have flown SVFR and marginal VFR. They have
landed on a farmers field. They have flown to a weather emergency
field and made a surveillance approach using radar assistance.
They have made their night landings at least five different airports.
My students are proficient at pilotage. They know where they are!
My students are, if anything overly proficient, in their ability
to follow ATC instructions and to suggest other options. My students
are respectful in their care and treatment of the aircraft, courteous
in their relations with other pilots and aircraft. My students
transition into larger and more complex aircraft with a minimum
of time and difficulty because they have learned to fly and control
the C-150 or C-172 as though it were a much larger and complex
The flight instructor must plan each lesson and the total sequence
of lessons for a continuity of inspiration based upon successful
steps of achievement. More often than not it is the outside influences
that present the readiness problem. Finances, personal life,
job security, job success, adverse weather, aircraft inspections,
scheduling, or health all contributed to the ongoing delays,
frustrations, and irritation that constantly interfere with the
required readiness and inspiration. The student must be trained
to expect that there is little to nothing to be gained by trying
to do something about which nothing can be done. Getting older
is one such. Have you ever driven for a distance over a very
familiar road and suddenly realize that you have not been aware
of what you did, what you saw, or of the passage of time. It
happens to many people while driving and a very similar sequence
can occur to pilots.
Last Modified February 25, ©2020 TAGE.COM