Monday, 26 May 2014

And then there is paper work

I have found that teaching the bike courses is the fun part of the whole operation, just behind the preparing the material to be used.  The material is the CAN-BIKE course curriculum, but presented as I wish to see it presented.  I will be the first one to tell you that I have a unique perspective on the curriculum.  I know what the curriculum is, I know what should also be presented, and I sit on the curriculum committee.  I get to figure out what could work, then try it out and see if the ideas will work out.  Then will they work out for someone else, and then will they work out in other parts of the Country.
I would be liar if I said that I didn’t think about the material and how to present it, then how to improve it, regularly.
It has to do with what the end outcome will be/must be, and what level is being taught.  Different levels, different expectations.
This is the lead into the paperwork that must be done if you want to have a successful cycling course.
There are certain things and procedures that must be done.
We have all heard the saying – the job isn’t done until the paperwork is fully completed !!

Well, what are the procedures that should be checked off so you can greet your course candidates?
I guess firstly you need to have students to teach.  The people are really quite important.
Do you have the qualifications to teach the level(s) you say you can?
Do you have students to teach? Have you got a way to advertise?
Have you made arrangements for a place to hold the course?

 What are you going to use to present the in class material? Do you have a lap top computer and a power point projector available?  Is there a plasma TV/monitor you can use? Having said that do you have the cords for the electronic toys you want to use? Do you have extension cords to get from the toys to the wall socket, to show the material?  I carry two extension cords, one to plug everything into, and a second to run out to the wall.
Have you arranged for/purchased third party insurance?
Do you know where to make that purchase?
Do you have some sort of work safe insurance? In BC we require to have WorkSafe coverage for both myself and any employees.

CAN-BIKE has a rule for student/Instructor ratio, which is 5:1, 6 to 12 you require 2 Instructors.
Have you made arrangements for the second Instructor?

Do you have the proper material, such as manuals, pens, water with you?
Do you have a floor pump handy?, that can be brought out for general use by all. Does it have the tip for both styles of bike tube values?

Have you made arrangements for a safe area that is large enough for the size of the group you are teaching?  I like to use the idea of blocking off 150 % area for what I will want.  That way I have a buffer in case a motorist doesn’t see the cones and drives into my area.

Do you have the proper registration forms? How about the liability waiver forms? How about photo waiver forms?

Are bathrooms available for your use throughout the day?

Do you have the cones, safety vests, rocks (rock dodge) and all other things that you will use for the course?

Have you scoped out a course for the ride you want the students to be taken on? Does that course cover the teaching points you want covered?

Have you prepared the Certificates? Do you have a baseline Certificate to work from?  Does it include the logo of the group you are teaching?  Did you get permission to use the Logo?  Remember Copyright applies, both for the group you are teaching and CAN-BIKE !!!

I use Microsoft Publisher program to make up my Certificates.
On my Certificates I use as a header Cycling CANADA’s Maple Leaf/Cyclist, on one side I use the National CAN-BIKE Logo along with my company Logo.  On the other side I use the Logo of the group I am teaching for (if allowed), or else I will leave that side blank.
Do you have the proper weight paper for certificates? I personal use 98 pound, glossy white.  It works well, holds up well, and looks great.  

Finally, do you know who you are going to invoice for the course? And have you made arrangements to send the invoice in?
Why go through all this if you aren’t going to get paid for your efforts !!

I hope you haven’t read this over and thought, Man, this is more complicated than I thought, I am not going to go through all this.  YOU WOULD BE WRONG, this is just the cost of doing business, and it is a good business and gives back to both your community and the cycling community.

It’s ironic, but you will never really know how much good you have done, and the lives you have saved by teaching proper techniques.
The bonus for me is when at the end of the day a student comes over and very warmly shakes your hand and says Thank-you, then adds, I have been riding for a lot of years and I learned things today I didn’t know. 
That is where my heart melts and I know that I have accomplished what I set out to do.  The behind the scenes preparations were all very much worth it !!

Once you have done everything to prepare and are ready, you are much more likely to have a successful course presented.
AND, once done correctly, by the numbers, then the next one and the next and the next are the same and the surprises are less.

Proper paperwork and preparation makes the whole experience, paperwork AND teaching go much easier.  These are the things you can control.

We won’t mention the weather.  We just hope Mother Nature is on our side on the day of the course.
Deal with and prepare for those things you can have input into.

Thanks for stopping by,
   Safe Ride Home.


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