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Thread: What have I done? Volunteered to teach map & compass for D of E

  1. #1
    Samuel Hearne Bernie's Avatar
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    What have I done? Volunteered to teach map & compass for D of E

    Well, wish me luck lads and lasses. I may just have bitten off more than I can chew. I'm off this morning to teach some D of E kids how to read maps and use a compass.

    The things I volunteer for...

    I'm just slightly nervous. After all, I'd hate to teach them something wrong.
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. - Chinese Proverb

  2. #2
    Tribesman
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    I'm sure you will do well Bernie.
    Volunteering is one of the most satisfying vocations.
    Just remember to have the 'phone a friend' option available☺
    I'd be interested in your thoughts later
    Nobody wins, unless everybody wins

  3. #3
    Tribal Elder shepherd's Avatar
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    fair play to you mate, have a good 'un

  4. #4
    One with Nature
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    hello,
    Who isn't nervous teaching? I'm sure if you've already volunteered you must have some level of experience. I'm sure you'll do fine.. (famous last words)
    Regards
    David

  5. #5
    Samuel Hearne Bernie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

    The group of approximately 20 teenagers were split into four groups. We were teaching first aid, kit, cooking and mine - maps and compass work.

    The first group was one of the best; maybe because they were fresh. They were attentive and most understood what I taught. The exercises were good because that highlighted where a one or two hadn't understood or listened to what I'd said. I was patient and treated them like adults, not kids. The second group was really good; they were quick learners and everyone understood things and managed the exercises without mistakes. The third group needed a little more help, but it ended on a bit of a low with a group that seemed to not pay attention, resulting in a lot of confusion during the exercises and me running from table to table to help them do what I'd explained. I made sure that they did the exercises, even if I was telling them what to do. They had to hold the compass, place it on the map, etc. "You see you forget, you do you remember." I kept telling myself. Another thing I remind myself of is "the more you say the less people remember".

    I'm most proud of the prop I made for explaining contour lines.



    I used the techniques taught to me for instruction as a gunnery and signals instructor in the South African army. Of course things are a little different when you're not allowed to hit the students or make them run to around a tree or some other silly punishment for not paying attention.

    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. - Chinese Proverb

  6. #6
    Tribesman
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    Sounds like a challenging day Bernie.
    All the more satisfying for it.
    Well done��
    Nobody wins, unless everybody wins

  7. #7
    Moderator jus_young's Avatar
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    Welcome to my world Bernie. Our navigation training is usually undertaken over a 5ish month period with a mixture of indoor classes and numerous weekend outings. It is hugely satisfying seeing them put it into practice on DofE and Ten Tors

  8. #8
    Ranger Ehecatl's Avatar
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    Well done Bernie. My experience of teaching was that it was always easier if the students wanted to learn. Sometimes one has to be sneaky in motivating them. In your scenario I'd probably have a very over weight rucksack to hand and ask each of them to try it on and then imagine they'd an additional 5km to walk (over and above their planned amount) due to a simple navigational error. I'd then suggest that now is the time to pay attention as you won't be there "on the day".
    "If you were to ask me what I consider to be my finest achievement, I could answer the question without hesitation: teaching." ~ Raymond Blanc.

  9. #9
    I have done stuff like this, the biggest mistake, which I think you have encountered, is actually not yours but the schools.

    I did a navigation gig with a local school for Dof E and they did exactly the same as yours did, 4 groups (tents, navigation, first aid, cooking)
    Group 1
    tea break
    group 2
    lunch
    group 3
    tea
    group 4
    home.

    Well the first couple of groups were great, but 3 and 4 were increasingly rubbish as it was simply to much for them in one day. It would have been much better to do Group 1, break, Group 2 home. Two days later repeat the process. My group 1 were a nightmare during the cooking stand apparently which was 4th for them.

    It's important to bear in mind the attention spans and really important to remember that when teaching a new skill, 20 minutes is a maximum before a good break to refresh and take in the information, and you can probably halve that for teenagers!

    Really well done though, teaching is good fun isn't it?
    Last edited by CheddarMan; 31-05-2016 at 09:02 PM.

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