Training By The Ear

time to read 2 min | 376 words

One of my tasks when I was in the army was to train people. It was often new guys that arrived, but also refreshing the knowledge and the skill of our existing staff. One Wendsday afternoon I got an urgent call from headquarters, I was to drop everything and go to another base, to train several cadets in the final stages of their training.
I was literally yanked away in a matter of a few hours. The course that I needed to pass was supposed to be two to three weeks long, and existed mainly as a set of power point presentations that were written by someone who never worked in the field.
I took a brief look at the material that I had and flat out refused to pass the course this way. It was, in fact, the same material that I was taught, and it hasn't changed a bit in over two years (and a lot has changed since). So I just played the course by the ear, without much sleep, but with a real devotion to make sure that the officer that I will train will go into the field as prepared as I can make them in a class room and in field trips.
I remember several times when I had to tell the cadets to wait for several minutes while I was finishing writing their next lesson, and then immediately giving it to them. Needless to say, in the breaks between lessons, I kept writing the next lessons. It was also one of the times that I had the most fun in the army (sadly, it wasn't even close to one of the times that I had least sleep).
I had a similar experiance today, writing a presentation and the lesson's plan in the morning, doing a short trial run on some co-workers, and then passing it later that day. In fact, I wrote the lesson for tomorrow while the students were doing excersizes.

Oh, and one point that I am particuallry proud of, the presentations and lessons that I created for the out of the blue course were used in the army for several years afterward (actually, to my knowledge, they are still in use today).