Quality of Instructors in Blandford

#1
Have done my T3 6 years ago, my foundation last year and now enduring my Class 1 I have become increasingly annoyed with the quality of the Civilian Instructors. I've had many good Army instructors in the past including on the current course, but some of the Civilian Staff take the p!ss. It's alsmost like there's no clear quality line for them to be able to come to the camp and work.

I've had fantastic instructors who can explain the most complicated things in a matter of a morning, or like today someone who wants to teach us the hard way so we grasp the concept easier. I'm sorry but wasting time in covering the most difficult way of doing something in order to be shown the easiest way is not exactly what I'd call an easy learning curve. I'm not the most intelligent person around, nor am I the dumbest. All I ask for is someone to be teaching me who can actually teach.

The employers here must think that being good at something must automatically mean your able to instruct well in that subject. Well newsflash - that's bollox!

Rant over.
 
#2
milano_chris said:
Have done my T3 6 years ago, my foundation last year and now enduring my Class 1 I have become increasingly annoyed with the quality of the Civilian Instructors. I've had many good Army instructors in the past including on the current course, but some of the Civilian Staff take the p!ss. It's alsmost like there's no clear quality line for them to be able to come to the camp and work.

I've had fantastic instructors who can explain the most complicated things in a matter of a morning, or like today someone who wants to teach us the hard way so we grasp the concept easier. I'm sorry but wasting time in covering the most difficult way of doing something in order to be shown the easiest way is not exactly what I'd call an easy learning curve. I'm not the most intelligent person around, nor am I the dumbest. All I ask for is someone to be teaching me who can actually teach.

The employers here must think that being good at something must automatically mean your able to instruct well in that subject. Well newsflash - that's bollox!

Rant over.
Depends where in the School you are attending lessons, and which Division as it is now is responsible for the training, I can agree to a certain extent that some civvy's are shite and take money under false pretences. However these are in the minority and if you think that they are shite you must bring it up during cse eval/inval, as to make sure that other people don't have to endure the same thing
 
#3
milano_chris said:
Have done my T3 6 years ago, my foundation last year and now enduring my Class 1 I have become increasingly annoyed with the quality of the Civilian Instructors. I've had many good Army instructors in the past including on the current course, but some of the Civilian Staff take the p!ss. It's alsmost like there's no clear quality line for them to be able to come to the camp and work.
Don't rant - take action! At the end of module discussion (and there should be one), voice your opinion about poor instruction. Be precise with your comments - date and time, and what happened or didn't, and don't get caught up in character assassination. If you are the first person/course to make those comments, don't expect too much to happen (and you will be gone anyway) but if all subsequent courses generate similar comments, then something will be done! Ask your classmates to back you up. And, if at all possible, produce evidence, such as a poor precis! Ranting on here might make you feel better but it won't change the way in which the courses are delivered.

I'll now present the academic view..... the lecturers are civilian - not military. They have not learned to deliver academic subjects in a military fashion and nor should they! They are required to deliver academic subjects to a high standard - and in general they do.

Secondly, please be realistic. I think some Class 1 students have over-inflated opinions of their abilities. They might be wonderful technicians, soldiers and JNCOs in the Field, but 5 or 6 years of non-stop partying will have left their mark! As you started the thread, can I ask you if you looked at a textbook (any textbook) between departing the School and returning?

Litotes
 
#4
Litotes said:
milano_chris said:
Have done my T3 6 years ago, my foundation last year and now enduring my Class 1 I have become increasingly annoyed with the quality of the Civilian Instructors. I've had many good Army instructors in the past including on the current course, but some of the Civilian Staff take the p!ss. It's alsmost like there's no clear quality line for them to be able to come to the camp and work.
Don't rant - take action! At the end of module discussion (and there should be one), voice your opinion about poor instruction. Be precise with your comments - date and time, and what happened or didn't, and don't get caught up in character assassination. If you are the first person/course to make those comments, don't expect too much to happen (and you will be gone anyway) but if all subsequent courses generate similar comments, then something will be done! Ask your classmates to back you up. And, if at all possible, produce evidence, such as a poor precis! Ranting on here might make you feel better but it won't change the way in which the courses are delivered.
Fair points. Will take them on board and speak with the rest of the course tomorrow.

Litotes said:
I'll now present the academic view..... the lecturers are civilian - not military. They have not learned to deliver academic subjects in a military fashion and nor should they! They are required to deliver academic subjects to a high standard - and in general they do.
I don't want lessons to be delivered in a military fasion. I want them to be delivered in a sctructured, planned and well thought out process that aids my abilities to learn and also wipe away the cobwebs that have settled in the past 5 or so years. I don't want them to be delivered by an instructor who spends 5 minutes at the start of the lesson planning what we are doing, 15 minutes trying to get himself out of a mess of what he's tought us and 10 minutes listening to the students tell him how it should have been done!

Litotes said:
Secondly, please be realistic. I think some Class 1 students have over-inflated opinions of their abilities. They might be wonderful technicians, soldiers and JNCOs in the Field, but 5 or 6 years of non-stop partying will have left their mark! As you started the thread, can I ask you if you looked at a textbook (any textbook) between departing the School and returning?
As I said above I don't claim to be the most interlectual person in this world, nor on my course for that matter! I stopped my partying in 2003 when I moved out of the block and into a flat with my currenty wife. I will admit though that I didn't touch theory untill my crammer and came in for a bit of a schock. I managed to get through and I also sat the foundation course and got reasonable results. Just because I didn't read any text books in between will that make me acedemically less willing or able? Well I suppose it depends on the person in all honesty.

It still doesn't change the fact that some civilian instructors are here on the pure basis that they served time in the Corps or know a couple of people who helped them out. It's not what you know, it's who you know is the impression I'm getting at the moment.

timebandit said:
I can agree to a certain extent that some civvy's are shite and take money under false pretences. However these are in the minority
Not trying to bait an argument here but I disagree with that. I've had a variety of instructors and I can think of at least 5 names of the top of my head who don't cut the mustard like some others do within the principles section.
 
#6
The thing to remember is that you get what you pay for. Personally I wouldn't get out of bed for the 19 odd grand that these fellas get paid.
 
#7
Too true guru. Have a look at how many of the afforementioned have left in the last year and figure out why and you may come close to finding a solution to the problem.
 
#9
amazing__lobster said:
This place never seems to have anything positive posted about it...
I don't mind it in all honesty. It is a training regiment, so you have to expect some BS. It's starting to lay of the upgraders now anyway. The way I see it - get stuck in, do 1 year then get back to reality.

Anyway, this isn't a Blandford is sh!te thread, I was merely highlighting the fact that some instructors here a cack and it winds me, and a lot of other students up.
 
#10
It all depends on the lessons they are teaching

To become an instructor they all have to deliver a lesson to a board but normally on anything they want. This has no/little bearing on the final subject they will be teaching.

The civi's used to mainly teach theory which applys across the mil/civi board.

However they are now teaching more and more equipments that they may have been taught about but have no practical experience with. This is where the mil guys stand out as they can give a 'for instance when I was at X Unit with this kit...'

For instance one of the guys that used to teach techs about crypto was an ex TV repairman !!

The quality of instruction should be reported back at the end of every section but as has been highlighted above they get paid pittence and the employers are glad for anyone they can get!! I spent 2 years instructing with a guy that was useless but was told by his boss ' hey its a bum on a seat - be glad you have someone even if he is a bum '

You can definately tell the difference between the civi civi's and the ex-mil civi's
 
#11
roadster280 said:
It's a ROYAL school. Let's have some pride in it, and be the best, whether student or instructor. I'm proud to say I was a good example of both.

Rant over (not entirely directed at Milano_Chris)
I don't think its the instructors at fault, course design tends to fail more often. The civilian instructors aren't completly aware of whats happening in the corps.
I had to listen to a rant last night about an TA upgrader course, as per normal I heard EW was good but the rest of it was pish. On one subject even the civilian instructor knew the TA soldiers would never use the subject he was teaching, why are things like that allowed to continue? Yes its in the (out of date) RSTO but that doesn't mean we can't be logical about things and not hide behind Quality Assurance procedures.
 
#12
I was on FofS Course 50, and the instructors were all superb, albeit all with their little quirks. Its still the hardest thing I have ever done, but the resources and knowledge there are second to none. You have to put a lot in though. After Blandford - OU was a doddle.
 
#13
Old saying

Those that can, do. Those the can't, teach. (Those that can't teach, become an MP (Steven Byers)).

Seriously, where do you want your best? At the pointy end or in a classroom? The instructors give you a grounding in the subject. The rest you learn for yourself.

C
 
#14
Civvy.
Thanks for that, as I did 3 tours as an instructor, 8 Sigs TTS (Monarch), School (Ran the Ptarmigan Garage 1990-94) and NCISS Latina (Crypto). I was also a Skilly too, so not just a tech then. I was a victim of my own "success". There was apolicy in the late 80's /early 90's that you would only be posted to 8 if you were A Confidential material (unless you were a spacker ;-) ) The prob was I got there, excelled at what I did, came second on my Staffies and then got told that I couldn't get promoted because I wasn't at a working unit. So maybe if I'd been a little more mediocre, not got an A, stayed in the Field Army and gone on from there. The Mil guys will generally speaking be interested in the job, and the civvys, generally will be interested in the payslip.
 
#16
Hi Guru,

Teaching something and doing something are two different skills. Being an expert in a field does not translate to being a good instructor in a field. Likewise, you do not need to be an expert to be a good instructor. In fact, being an expert is often a disadvantage because experts tend to focus on the subject and not the people.

As for your promo, more fool the army for not getting the right people to the right tasks.

I looked at being a civ instructor at Blandford last year. I didn't because I'm an expert not a teacher. Oh, nearly forgot, I couldn't afford the halving of salary ;).

Yes, I admit it, I only turn up for the money. But as my psychology teacher said - if that is all there was to it, you'd be diving on north sea oil rigs.

C

mistakes corrected. Bl00dy computers!
 
#17
Got to disagree with you roadster.

Did my T1 in 98 and there was more than just the odd civvy who was not up to spec. I can think of four easily who (that’s just ones involved in my course), in my personal opinion, should not have been there. Not sure what it is like now, but I do know that Westlands are now running courses out of there with instructors that have never seen the kit used in anger, therefore can only read it from the book. Makes the "What if" questions impossible to answer.

Sorry, but in my book, that does not make for good instruction, but before I get shot down in flames, there are also some exceptional blokes teaching there as well. You always have to take the good with the bad wherever you go.

BG.
 
#18
civvy said:
Hi Guru,

Teaching something and doing something are two different skills. Being an expert in a field does not translate to being a good instructor in a field. Likewise, you do not need to be an expert to be a good instructor. In fact, being an expert is often a disadvantage because experts tend to focus on the subject and not the people.
Could not agree any more with that.
 
#19
I agree that being a good instructor does not neccesarily make an expert and vice versa. But it doesn't mean that you can't do both. After my tour in Blanders in Ptarmigan, I went on to 2 postings in RSSST G, putting into practice what I learned in the School and also in Christchurch. I like to think I was a good instructor, and also a good third line engineer. But I have also seen guys who were a dab hand in the switch who couldn't instruct for sh*t. It's all about having the ability to impart knowledge.
 
#20
Hi all,

In my org we use professional trainers to do the training. The geeks do geek work. The trainers get a bit of hands on, talk to the geeks, write the course and get on with it. Sometimes, due to commercial pressures, the trainers get a couple of days hands on / write course and boy do they work hard if that happens. If they get stuck they phone the geeks during a break in the course. Nothing wrong with ' I don't know, I'll find out'. Occasionally a tech person will give them say an hour in front of class because they are busy too. We all have a clause in our role profile that says we will train others and sometimes we do. If it gets harder it's off to the manufacturer.

If you expect the civ instructor to tell you how it is on ops you are in for a real disappointment (bleedin' obvious). They are there to tell you how the kit works; they are not ops experts. The rest is up to you. As to why you don't have service personnel doing all of the training - there isn't a manpower problem is there. Likewise we have trainers who train and doer who do 'cos we're all busy.

I did look at the Blandord instructor ads and believe me, you are not going to get the best that civvy street has on offer. The ads were badly written, confusing and the Ts & Cs were cr@p.

C
 

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