It can be a lonely business running classes or even a whole club, taking responsibility for everyone’s safety, helping students to progress down the path towards mastery of the Art of Arms. My friends and I started a historical fencing club in 1994 to attract people to fight with, and we soon realised that the interested folk showing up would have to be taught how to fence before we could fight them. So I slipped into teaching swordsmanship by accident and by default. Then I found out I loved doing it.
I’ve been teaching professionally since 2001. Finding applicable pedagogical training was very difficult, but with the help of colleagues in other arts, and travelling to events to meet colleagues in my own arts, I managed to improve as a teacher, and become part of a community of like-minded instructors to bounce ideas off and get support from.
I think many folk start out teaching in much the same way, and it can be extremely difficult. You need to be able to continue your own training, and develop your teaching skills, and keep the classes running. I’ve started a monthly Q+A and support group session for us to get together and help each other. The sessions will be structured: I’ll kick things off with a question for the group, we’ll break out into small groups to discuss the question, and come back for group discussion. Then I’ll open the floor to the attendees to ask me, or the group, any question they like.
We do this for our students- they deserve the best instructor they can get. While this is intended for instructors, and we will stay at least generally on topic, it is absolutely appropriate for people just thinking about starting to teach, as well as those of us with decades of experience, and everything in between. I hope you can join us.
Training Instructors Q+A, Saturday January 9th at 3pm UK time. Sessions will last about 90 minutes.
Tickets are £12, £6, or free. https://bookwhen.com/swordschool
I know this time doesn’t work for everyone, so if you’re interested but can’t make it then, I’ll run one at any time between 8am and 8pm UK time, any day of the week, if you can find five other people to commit to coming.
See you there!