Preparing to Teach as a New Instructor | Box Alarm Training

You find yourself as a new instructor trying to deliver training at the fire house. This is not an easy task when you are first getting started. Many new instructors have a good idea about the topic they want to cover or the techniques they want to teach but lack a good plan to deliver the material so that the firefighters understand. If we walk into a training session unprepared our fellow firefighters will see it from a mile away. In order to help out new instructors we put together a short video discussing some basic teaching principles.

Something a good friend of mine taught me years ago was a very simple structure for delivering instruction:

  1. Tell them what you are about to tell them
  2. Tell them
  3. Tell them what you told them

This is very basic concept and forces your instruction to have a beginning, middle and an end. However, we can take this a step further and look at a four step teaching method below:

TELL = Explain Theory

SHOW = Demonstrate Skills

DO = Practice those Skills

APPLY = Provide a practical application and assessment method for the skills taught

Personally I believe all instructors should explain the “why’s” first. This provides firefighters with a reason for understanding the upcoming concepts or skills. Once we have given our firefighters a reason for training it will be much easier to provide the solutions or skills that address the “why’s”.

In the video below I will cover these basic instructional processes.

About Matt Hinkle

Matt Hinkle is a Staff Instructor at the Mississippi State Fire Academy. He has over twelve years of experience in the fire service and has served in many positions throughout his career including; Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Training Officer and Instructor. He has designed local and state training curriculums, coordinated regional training events, and assisted in the development of national training programs. During his service Matt has received several awards including: Firefighter of the Year (Lafayette County Fire Department), Fire Officer of the Year Finalist (MS Burn Association), Medal of Valor (MS Burn Association), and a Letter of Commendation (City of Oxford). Matt has received over 2,000 hours of technical training in many disciplines including: NFPA 1001-I-II (Firefighter I-II), NFPA 1002 (Driver/Operator), NFPA 1041-I-II (Instructor), Hazardous Materials Technician I-II, Rope Rescue Technician I-II, Confined Space Rescue Technician, Trench Rescue Technician, Vehicle Extrication I-II, Search and Rescue Technician I-II-III, EMT-B, and Cave Rescue I-II.

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