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instructor thoughts


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i was reading the newsheadline on the homepage here that featured the comments of the instructor in NZ of mr clarke who is missing in bc...


his comments about the potential and talent this young man displayed during training really made me think of all the hundreds of non-flying students i have taught over the years in everything from 1st aid to firefighting to defensive driving...


as instructors of any kind, we revel in our students success's when we hear of them... but when something goes wrong, it's only natural for us to wonder if there was something we missed in our teachings that might have made the difference for them this time...


how many of you IP's out there have had to face the fact that one of your students or former students didn't come home last nite... did you stay up wondering what more you could have done??


my golden nugget of thought for the day is that you give all you can and sometimes it isn't enough to protect those you taught to take to the air... but you did give them the knowledge and the skills they needed... sometimes fate has different ideas... second guessing ourselves in times like this is natural, but i hope each and every person who wears the name of teacher takes the time to remember all the students who went on to have full logbooks because of what you taught them and what they learned themselves....


i've lost track of the number of faces who have told me about how they used my training and had it work... but i can still see very clearly the face of the young man who told me how he did cpr on his grandfather just like i taught him and his grandpa died anyways...


hope they get to end this search soon, but to his instructor, it must seem like an eternity...





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I haven''t had to deal with the torture I can imagine this can bring, but I have seen some out of the barn that I wished could have taken more.


I do think, though, that we assume (as instructors) too great a part in whatever results our graduates experience. While we do play an important role, I believe it''s less important than that played by whoever helped forge the individual''s overall character and makeup in the formative years between two and, perhaps, ten years of age.


I don''t think it would be totally unfair to compare what we do to the training of dogs. Not to say that our students are less than human, rather that we teach them a skill set in a relatively short period of time, compared to the years in which their attitudes, beliefs and habits were developed.


If we can give them the best of our technical ability, and set a responsible and professional example for them to follow, we can only hope that their individual makeup will be such as to most wisely and safely exploit that learning. If we do less, we''re derelict in our duty, but I can''t see how we can do more.

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