Lesson Plans

Flyinhigh728

Well-Known Member
#1
I'm just starting to work on my fixed wing CFI and am hoping to get it done in the next month or two.

So far, I've read mixed reviews on lesson plans for the Check ride. Would you advise making my own, or buying them premade online? If so, do you have any recommendations? Thanks!
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
#2
FWIW, here's my experience from a few decades ago. I did a mixture. I think I wrote 2 or 3 from scratch. The rest were either commercially prepared or hand-me-downs, I forget which. The syllabus was definitely commercial. When asked, I showed them all. Looking at the prefab lesson plans and syllabus, his comment was, "Goo. No need to reinvent the wheel."

My bottom line: There are two things being tested. Yes, one is that you know how to write one. You never know when you might be called on to give a lesson and being able to organize one "on the fly" (whether you write it down or not) is a valuable skill. But the more important one is that how to use a lesson plan.

Write enough of them that you know you can; get a good set for the rest.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#3
I'm in the midst of this right now.

I started out with a set that a CFI friend gave me to use as a template. His are comprehensive. Very.

I used a couple of his and gradually modded/changed them to suit my taste/style and what I think a candidate needs to know. What I've found is that the more of my own stuff I put into it, the more research I've been doing. And that has been a good thing for me, because it's forcing me to look at all aspects of my knowledge and confront where I might be deficient in knowledge.

So, in a sense, I am reinventing a wheel. More accurately I'm inventing MY wheel.

It's an arduous process, to be sure, but it's forcing me to focus and stay disciplined about it, so I'm getting a lot of benefits.

One thing I'm realizing: as I gain experience and knowledge, I think I'll want to modify/improve my lesson plans as I go forward and keep them as living documents that provide structure and context.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
#4
I'm in the midst of this right now.

I started out with a set that a CFI friend gave me to use as a template. His are comprehensive. Very.

I used a couple of his and gradually modded/changed them to suit my taste/style and what I think a candidate needs to know. What I've found is that the more of my own stuff I put into it, the more research I've been doing. And that has been a good thing for me, because it's forcing me to look at all aspects of my knowledge and confront where I might be deficient in knowledge.

So, in a sense, I am reinventing a wheel. More accurately I'm inventing MY wheel.

It's an arduous process, to be sure, but it's forcing me to focus and stay disciplined about it, so I'm getting a lot of benefits.

One thing I'm realizing: as I gain experience and knowledge, I think I'll want to modify/improve my lesson plans as I go forward and keep them as living documents that provide structure and context.
Excellent point. The value of that cannot be overestimated.
 

Flyinhigh728

Well-Known Member
#5
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'm going to do a combination of both and see how it works out. That should help me learn the material as well as making a lesson plan from scratch.
 

Bamaaviator

Well-Known Member
#6
If you make your own, you more than likely will be a much better CFI as a result. It forces you to dig deep and do some research on your own. This forces you to know your references like the PHAK and AFH and become very familiar with them.
 

tcco94

Professional GTA V Pilot
#7
Backseat pilot lesson plans are the way to go. They are formatted exactly to the PTS, give loads of information, and all references.

Time management will make you a better CFI. You can study and focus more on your weak areas (instead of strengths you are comfortable teaching) which in result makes you a better instructor. Don't fall for the whole "buy lesson plans and you're a bad instructor".

You could spend weeks, if not months producing all of your own lesson plans which will probably have the same references and materials. At the end of the day to become a better instructor is by teaching and getting out there on the line and seeing it first hand. Only so much can be mastered in a classroom before it's overkill and overload. I learned this on my 10th lesson plan. That's when I made the switch to backseat pilot. Every examiner was thoroughly impressed with it, I still have my binders today, and I used them all the time when I taught.

Just my 2 cents from my experience learning and getting better as a instructor. PM if you're looking for resources. Any way you can cut down your workload by helping out other instructors resources, will be a huge advantage in this tough quest to become a CFI
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
#9
Backseat pilot lesson plans are the way to go. They are formatted exactly to the PTS, give loads of information, and all references.

Time management will make you a better CFI. You can study and focus more on your weak areas (instead of strengths you are comfortable teaching) which in result makes you a better instructor. Don't fall for the whole "buy lesson plans and you're a bad instructor".

You could spend weeks, if not months producing all of your own lesson plans which will probably have the same references and materials. At the end of the day to become a better instructor is by teaching and getting out there on the line and seeing it first hand. Only so much can be mastered in a classroom before it's overkill and overload. I learned this on my 10th lesson plan. That's when I made the switch to backseat pilot. Every examiner was thoroughly impressed with it, I still have my binders today, and I used them all the time when I taught.

Just my 2 cents from my experience learning and getting better as a instructor. PM if you're looking for resources. Any way you can cut down your workload by helping out other instructors resources, will be a huge advantage in this tough quest to become a CFI
I took a look at these and I have to say, they're pretty interesting.

It was a bit of a nice justification to see that I've been following a very similar format and process...mine are more thorough than other basics I've seen, but the BSP lessons are maybe...well....a level deeper than I've been going? Does that make sense?

The thing that surprises me - in a good way - is that BSP encourages you to tweak the lessons and make them your own. Gave me some ideas about improving mine as well.

I dunno - I can see it working both ways. I AM definitely learning a lot by building mine, but I can also see learning the source material as well by reviewing and prepping before giving a pre-made lesson, too.

I think it all depends on how honestly you approach learning the material to teach it. Different methods work for different people. I may consider buying a few and altering to my tastes. Haven't decided. No lesson plan in the world - made by you or someone else - is going to be helpful if you don't actually understand the source material. It's just a guide.
 

Bamaaviator

Well-Known Member
#10
No lesson plan in the world - made by you or someone else - is going to be helpful if you don't actually understand the source material. It's just a guide.
Very true. You can have the best lesson plan laying in front of you, but if you don't know the material, how can you teach it? If you have to keep looking at your lesson plan the majority of the time you're giving ground to a student, then you don't know the material deep enough. The key is knowledge of the subject. Having a command of the material is what makes a good instructor. I'm not against pre made lesson plans at all. The only problem I see pretty often is a lot of CFI candidates will go and buy pre made lessons somewhere, because they don't feel like doing their part as future teachers. You have to do some deep digging and research, as well as practice teaching the lesson beforehand. That is crucial. Teaching is a completely separate skill set from flying. Like learning to fly, the skill of learning to teach must be developed. I'm all for pre-made lesson plans. The effectiveness of the instruction is through the teaching abilities of the instructor, not the actual lesson plan itself. If you have a pre made lesson plan, and you can't teach because you don't understand the material well enough, well, the student is gonna pick up on the fact that you aren't knowledgeable about the subject.
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
#11
The value of a lesson plan is in the preparation you do on that particular subject. I used another CFI's plans, but modified them to suit me as I worked through each lesson plan. In doing so, they became my own and I thought through the process of how I would teach each particular lesson. I'm in the camp with others above who say to get a head start by using someone else's plan as a template, but take time to do your own work. In my initial CFI exam, I had to teach a lesson on a certain subject. Because I had reviewed and rewritten that lesson plan it was a snap. When I got my MEI and CFII the examiner asked to see the lesson plan and that was the end of the discussion. YMMV.
 
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