“Everything good that I know was taught to me by great teachers and I feel like giving back and sharing is the thing to do”—Betty Buckley
We are so fortunate to have a membership that includes an amazing diversity of talent. Beyond that, so many go beyond the norm and figure out a way to share our hobby with others. Clarence Ragland is one of those guys—you can see him in action on AMA Flight School demonstrating his unique style of instruction. While busy teaching folks to fly, he’s come up with another approach to sharing, and it’s great! Clarence is very optimistic about his new approach, stating, “I am 100% certain we will make significant progress this coming flying season.”
And now, here’s Clarence:
Teaching the Teachers
Teaching school teachers to fly RC aircraft and then teaching them the art of teaching RC flying to their students, has proven to be the ultimate promotion concept for me. I plan to start this program whenever the weather breaks, which will hopefully be in May or June.
I don’t have all the details, because this is a work in progress. I’ve discovered that teachers obviously already have developed the skills and the talent for not only teaching, but also self-learning. I have had several technology teachers learn enough to be able to give their students RC flying instruction on their schools simulators after only 30 or so minutes of my instruction method.
Technology teacher Jonathan Shelley, from Grand Island Senior High School in New, only had two 15-minute lessons. He caught on so quickly that he and other teachers with the same amount of flying time flew on their own all summer.
I am offering any teacher or hobby shop owner the same opportunity. It should only take, on average two to five days, and two to four hours per day for nearly anyone to learn enough to train either students or customers and get them hooked on the hobby. This will bring in more AMA members and customers for the industry. It will also help to get a good jump on the learning process. I have several wide-open, county-owned flying sites to fly on and will be available essentially at the student’s convenience.
I realize that there are probably already many aeromodeling programs in schools, but usually they have to depend on clubs for help. My program will get people safely in the air and quickly on their own. There are probably many schools with no club help available. Some schools may have teachers already in the hobby, but they may not have any flight instruction skills. The same might go for AMA clubs in the area.
Using my method, I could easily train several teachers each day. I have students who are waiting for their turn stand close by so they will learn from the mistakes the students ahead of them are making.
Think of the numbers. How many schools are there? How many teachers? How many students? How many family members?
Keep in mind that this concept has already been proven. I just have to get people who are capable of thinking outside of the box to get onboard. The problem I’ve had getting this going is from club members who are afraid of overcrowding their flightline. Unlike industry members, growth is not what clubs are comfortable with. Ironically, the growth-conscience industry has no choice but to depend on growth-fearing clubs for all of their hands-on, in-the-field promoting.
If anyone is interested, you can contact me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So there you go. Clarence throws down a pretty big gauntlet. Do you know a teacher? Teach him or her how to fly. Share it.
Last week I had the honor of speaking for the Toledo Weak Signals R/C Club. Most of you hear that club name and immediately think of the Toledo Show, and well you should! The largest retail model aviation exposition in the world, located in Toledo, Ohio, is thanks to the foresight of the Weak Signals.
This club is active and diverse beyond the show itself. They are really into competitive sailplanes, and host a number of AMA sanctioned contests each year. We met on a cold, snowy night, and there were around 75 in attendance.
Jessy Symmes, our education coordinator, joined me and it was a great evening. The hospitality of AMA District VII Vice President Tim Jesky and his wife, Linda, club president Bob Kane, and the entire membership was second to none. And, although fairly typical in age and interests, they responded very well to a theme I’m on right now … things change.
One of the comments I hear is that if a model airplane isn’t made of balsa and tissue, it isn’t a model airplane. I tried a new analogy on the Weak Signals and it seemed to resonate. I asked how many of them drove to the meeting in a vehicle that had the dimmer switch on the floor. We had a good laugh together, and of course one guy raised his hand and if he did, more power to him. I hope he’s the local silk and dope pro!
My point is this, things do change. Some of it we’ve grown to accept almost unknowingly. Some, like model aviation, have changed so much and continue to change at such an exponential rate that it’s hard to keep up with. At the end of the day, just remember that because it’s new it isn’t bad—it’s just new.
Fly and have fun![dingbat]