Instructor Training: Practice Teaching the Skill

Today I used this activity with our Instructors in Training and liked it, so I thought I’d share.

Every week they have learned a new part of the lesson plan and practiced it in the lessons they are being weaned into teaching. Two weeks ago it was the Mount & Dismount, last week it was the Warmup, and this week it was The Skill.

This was the exercise.

1) First, we went over this skills handout and the Skills List on that post.

2) Then I handed out a sheet with the following on it:

Skill Practice Sheet

Skill: Teach Halt to Walk Transitions (“Walk On”) to 2 clients with ADHD

Warmups: _____________________________________________________

Get their attention:____________________________________________

What:________________________________________________

Why:________________________________________________

How:________________________________________________

Where:_______________________________________________

Skill: Teach direct rein steering to 2 clients with low tone

Warmups: _____________________________________________________

Get their attention:____________________________________________

What:________________________________________________

Why:________________________________________________

How:________________________________________________

Where:_______________________________________________

Skill: Teach walk to halt transitions to 2 clients with mild Autism

Warmups: _____________________________________________________

Get their attention:____________________________________________

What:________________________________________________

Why:________________________________________________

How:________________________________________________

Where:_______________________________________________

Note: warmups should be related to disability and skill, determine how to get their attention to teach the skill (halt or keep walking), explain the skill with what/why/how, and determine a quick practice for “where”.

3) I assigned each IT one of the scenarios and gave them a few minutes to fill it out.

4) Then they took turns role playing for each one. For the scenario they were given, they were the teacher and the other ITs were the rider and sidewalker. I asked the teacher to lead them through what they had prepared. I prepped them by saying this is not a test, just a practice so you’ll get all the weird first time jitters out before doing this with real riders. I also gave the rider a disability specific characteristics to role play (but no be too obnoxious):

  • ADHD – be distracted easily
  • Low Tone – be slouchy, weak
  • Autism – rarely look her in the eye, focus on one sensory input at a time

5) During the role play, I added a few prompts like, “Great now tell the volunteer how to support the rider.”

6) After each role play, I asked the rider with their particular disability how they thought it went, then gave some input. I wasn’t hard on them at all because we all botch the first time and know it.

The whole point was to get some practice in at teaching the skill before actually doing it with their riders, and to give them the feeling of being the student. It was definitely awkward because they were teaching to their peers, but I think it did the job and hope they feel a little more prepared going out this week. It’s just good to get that first time out of the way instead of it being with clients!

Do you do role playing with your Instructors in Training? How do you teach the practice The Skill?

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Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgment!

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