Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Plans, Preparations, Courses and Combining them all together

The teaching season has started, at least for me here in BC.
Yes it has also been the first time I have taught a bike course with light snow falling.  It does give an ironic humour in saying cycling is an all weather sport, perspective is everything.

I would like to speak about some points that I feel should be considerations with teaching students/clients the concepts that are CAN-BIKE.

These concepts are valid for any teaching. CAN-BIKE, The League of American Cyclists courses, or the NCCP courses, or any course. I use these as I have taken Instructor classes from both of those cycling aspects very recently.
These concepts, are valid when teaching.  There are numerous reading, dissertations and up to and including PhD level writings on the subject.  I have picked out what I have been shown/taught, and what has worked for me.

As Instructors we have to recognize that we have a diverse group that are coming to us with the request to learn to ride better.

The next thing we as Instructors need to recognize is the four ways people learn;
1 By Doing – Many people need to try some activity in order to learn a particular skill.  This is sometimes called Kinesthetic or Tactile Learning
By Hearing – There are many who have to hear what they are learning in order to best absorb it.  These people are often called Auditory Learners.
By Seeing – Some of us need to use our sight to get a good idea about what they are learning.  This is called Visual Learning.
By Thinking – Some people need time to think and understand before they learn.  People that learn this way are often called Cognitive Learners.

We all learn in all four of the ways above, but most people have one or two ways that are more prominent.  If we know how we learn best, it can help us to better and more quickly assimilate new information and develop new skills quicker. In turn how to pass the information we are teaching across to others.

I have learned from the NCCP Facilitator training there are three levels of teaching.  I have also learned as the person who is teaching, we need to recognize how we fit into the grand scheme.  The three key functions are;

We learn while teaching where we fit, and then to use the three levels mentioned. 
Each person is different and uses the levels differently, and views the levels differently.
Experience teaches us to recognize when to use the levels and how to make them work the best for the group be taught.  
Once we know how best to present the material then we can present our lessons to achieve the best outcomes.
As an Instructor we need to be aware that we need to teach in ways that everyone can learn, not just those who are closest to our way.

Now once we combine the ways we learn, and the ways we teach and the way others learn with the courses being taught, then the outcome will be better for those taking the course(s).
 Let’s look at the CAN-BIKE course list.

There are a number of different levels of courses that are offered. They are:
Youth Kids CAN-BIKE Festival
Youth Kids CAN-BIKE
CAN-BIKE  Adult learn to ride 01,
CAN-BIKE  Adult learn to ride 02,
CAN-BIKE 01, tailored for youths
CAN-BIKE 01, tailored for adults
CAN-BIKE 01, tailored to Police volunteers and Security officers
CAN-BIKE Freedom for Women  (CAN-BIKE 01 Women Only)

Here in BC I offer:
CAN-BIKE Advanced 
CAN-BIKE Pro courses.

The courses offered depends on the Province you are in.
 *NOTE* Not all courses offered in all places in CANADA.  Please check with the CAN-BIKE office in Ottawa Ontario at www.canbikecanada.ca for further course information.

When you look at the courses offered through the CAN-BIKE program, you discover they cover the spectrum of age, 6 to 80, and ability. I use 80 since I had a gent 80 years young in a CAN-BIKE One class last year, and did very well.
Is it fair to allow a person to take the class if it is above their ability? A rider who gets either hurt or embarrassed isn't likely to continue. We want them to learn, come back and more over have fun.

You should have a plan, okay a basic idea, of how you want the class, and/or portions of the class to go. The goal is to have the teaching objectives successful.

In my particular case, when it comes to the parking lot portion, slow speed skills, I carry a laminated recipe card with all the skills written down/listed. That way I can follow the progression, and keep a track on what I have done, what I need to do and make sure my time line is working out correctly.

My dear wife is a teacher and has taught me how to make sure you are as prepared as you can be. Get your material in order,  get the things you are going to use inside and outside the class ready and on hand.
I carry everything I use in the back of the truck and in places I can reach quickly and easily.
Keeping a class, inside and outside running smoothly and as seamless as possible, is the key.  At the end of the day when those taking the course didn't see any hiccups or disruptions, then you are closer to being successful.

The other thing you want to take into account is who you are going to teach with. Good chemistry is everything. I am blessed that I have a group that I can work and co-teach/team teach with.

To those in that group, and you know who you are, THANK-YOU for your assistance and support.

Not everyone can lead, and in turn not everyone can sit second chair. You need to be comfortable and have the confidence to be in either spot. The success of the students must be the first consideration, after all in all most every case, they are paying you to teach them.

The last thing you want is someone coming up to you at the end of the day and saying they didn’t get their monies worth.

The objective is to be prepared, to be confident in your material and your abilities and those you are team teaching with.

The bonus is someone coming up to you, shaking your hand, and saying Wow, that was great I have been riding for a lot of years and I learned something new today, Thank-you.

Thanks for Stopping,
                    Safe Ride Home.


1 comment:

  1. I learn by doing and thinking about what I am doing.