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Ronan's report

Wednesday 02 October, 2013

A few weeks back I started a thread in the Teaching section here on the board asking: What are the most important teaching skills for someone who wants to help people becoming better fly casters and improving their fishing? Quiet a lot of proper fly casting and fly fishing teachers are on board, and I indeed got a good number of fine answers. Here are some of the key answers, which were given:

Patience. (Steve Kemp)

Ability to meet people on the level they are on and move them further. / Knowledge about what is being taught. / Lots of patience. (Lasse Karlsson)

Proper knowledge about the subject and being an inspirational communicator. / Matching the student’s physiological abilities with the objective for the student. / Being objective about the own instructing abilities. (Mark Surtees)

Capturing and keeping the interest of the student. (Vince)

Proper communication skills and no showing off own casting skills. (Michael Duzynski)

Not having too high expectations for the student’s learning process. Students are all different. (Michael Heritage)

Observe and understand the student’s casting thru the student’s eyes, and understand what the student sees and understands by watching the teacher’s casting. / A top fly casting teacher just need to be top fly casting teacher, nothing else , not even CI or MCI. (Zoran Marinkovic)

The people who teach are normally very competent in what they do but are not necessarily the best casters. The best teachers are simply the best teachers. (Pete)

Analytical skills (causal issue must be recognized). (John Waters)

In fact the last answer represents a teaching skill, in which I found huge differences among us teachers. Very important skill to me. It especially grows with the experience in teaching.

The whole thread can be found HERE btw..

Mark and John agreed the analytical skills to at least become very important for teaching the advanced students. Personally I believe them to be very important right from the start - independent of the student's level. Why? Because in no further stage of learning fly casting and fly fishing all issues can be improved as easy again as it is (or would have been) right in the beginning!

Of course it still is important to start improvements by correcting the main issues first. And yes, sometimes we as teachers have to overlook a few things for a moment. But even this is much better done, when knowing about the details and also understanding were they will (or at least may) finally result in.

In regard of my membership in different instructor organizations I often was told the concept, that the (so called) Basic (certified) instructors may perfectly teach beginner students, while the (so called) Master (certified) instructors may be the best choice to teach the advanced students. Personally I have never bought into this concept. That simply is, because I really wish I would have had my best teachers right in the start of my own learning process. That would have made the journey a lot easier for me. Later on (carrying more experience in my bag) I were able to identify some of the things I was taught to be ineffective concepts - some of them simply to be wrong. Such an ineffective (or even wrong) learning concept being taught right in the beginning, easily can lead to a whole lot of trouble when being faced a much better concept later on and then trying to change one's technique again.

About the certification papers available today (FFF, AAPGAI, EFFA, CNL and so on) I don't find them to be important to focus on in regard of searching for a proper teacher. I have always listened to former students and what they said. To me that always was the best way to get linked with proper teachers.

Besides that those organisations offer a (more or less) proper network to other instructors. That indeed can help learning from others and filling up the own tool box with some of the best teaching concepts being available.

I have positioned my question right into the teaching section here on the board. But am really interested in all your (teacher or student) expectations about those skills a proper teacher should carry in his bag. So please feel free to enter the thread and add further input!

Finally back to my initial question: To me the maybe most important teaching skill is the analytical one and then having a box full of easy concepts to fix the causes and help the proper cast to be done in (often) almost no time. Yes, proper communication and being inspirational indeed helps a lot here, too!

All my best and sexy loops to all of you


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