taught it; so as soon as you teach trainees to do
a job, have them practice it.
Teaching applicable safety precautions is
especially important. Teach a safety precaution
just before reaching the point in your demonstra-
tion where it applies. Tell the reason for the
precaution so that the trainees will understand the
need to comply with it.
Patience is a virtue for any petty officer. If
it does not come naturally to you, you must train
yourself to be patient. A slow learner may never
acquire the knowledge or skill you are trying to
impart if you are impatient.
Avoid sarcasm toward a bungler; that person
may be trying harder than you suspect. Nothing
exhausts the patience of the expert as much as the
fumbling attempts of a beginner; however, the
instructor must patiently demonstrate and explain
until the trainee acquires the needed competence.
Good instruction means a more effective crew,
and such an asset justifies any amount of patience.
If you find that your trainees have not learned
what you tried to teach them, do not react as if
they disobeyed orders. If trainees do not under-
stand a certain lesson or operation, that could
indicate a poor job of teaching. The old saying,
If the learner hasnt learned, the teacher hasnt
taught might apply in some situations.
You can use instructional techniques with any
of the above methods. These techniques include
the use of the lesson summary, oral questioning,
and training aids.
The term summary as used here refers to that
part of the lesson in which the instructor reviews
the material covered. In summarizing, keep in
mind two major aims. First, you want to help the
trainees identify and organize the subject matter.
Second, you want to assist the trainees in under-
standing and, where necessary, in memorizing the
subject matter. Use the following techniques in
summarizing a lesson:
1. Introduce the summary properly.
2. Summarize the subject matter thoroughly.
Plan the summary so that it assists the trainees
in organizing the important subject matter into
a form more easily learned. Review the actual
subject matter, not just the topic, thoroughly
enough for the trainees to gain an adequate
understanding of the subject. Having the trainees
review the topics (class notes) will aid them in
understanding the subject.
3. Avoid a strictly oral summary, if possible,
Remember, if you need training aids to make the
right kind of lesson presentation, then you also
need them for the right kind of summary.
4. Summarize at appropriate intervals. If the
lesson is longfor example, 2 or 3 hours in
durationyou would be wise to summarize at the
end of each period or at the end of each significant
area of subject matter. Trainees will absorb short
summaries better than an unduly long summary
at the end of the complete lesson.
We cannot place enough emphasis on the
importance of questioning in any teaching
situation. Oftentimes, the difference between a
dull, boring lecture and a lively discussion is only
a matter of some well-planned, well-directed oral
questions. The ability to direct thought through
questioning is recognized as one of the most valid
proofs of teaching skill. A direct relationship
exists between your success as an instructor and
the quality and quantity of oral questioning you
use in teaching. Therefore, you will find the
following techniques of invaluable use to you, as
1. Stimulate trainee thought. Ask questions
that call for the application of facts rather than
just facts alone. Facts can easily be committed to
memory and require little or no thought on the
part of the trainee.
2. Establish a level of instruction. Ask
questions that require trainees to comment on
previous experience in the subject matter you are
going to teach. By asking a series of oral
questions, you can determine the trainees level
of knowledge in a particular subject matter. That
information will enable you to determine the level
at which you should begin instruction.
3. Arouse interest. Asking a general question,
such as, How many of you have fired a .50-caliber
machine gun? or How many persons died on the
highways last year? will serve to clear trainees
minds of any extraneous thoughts. Such questions
aid in motivating trainees as they mentally search