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    1. #1
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      Tell me about teaching students that are older than you

      So I recently got a job as a flight instructor doing some pretty advanced flying. I'm 21 and many of my students are over twice my age. I'm fully qualified and quite experienced but I can't help but feel that I am handicapped by my age while making first impressions. It's understandable given that these people are paying a lot of money for their training and are also entrusting me with their safety while we're bombing around in the air upside down at several hundred kilometres per hour...

      So far I've successfully put my older students at ease once they've seen my skill level in the air, but I would prefer that they felt more comfortable before that (or maybe I'm just being paranoid?)

      If you have experienced a similar situation (from either side of the coin), do you have any tips or stories to offer? If not, feel free to put yourself in the shoes of an older student being taught by a younger instructor and throw a suggestion or two.

    2. #2
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      are you nervous about them, or do you think they'll be nervous about you?

      if you're worried they might make some smartass remarks or something, remember that you're the teacher. one dumb student won't change anything. if they all disrespect you, that's a problem. stay sharp and witty. call 'em fags once in a while.

      if you're worried yourself, remember you're in charge. you're leading, and they'll follow. especially if they've seen you fly already.

      anything specific?

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      Don't hesitate to own up to your mistakes if they call you out on anything, but be sure they know you're the one with a greater library of knowledge. Which also means, KNOW YOUR SHIT INSIDE AND OUT!

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by no-Name View Post
      are you nervous about them, or do you think they'll be nervous about you?

      if you're worried they might make some smartass remarks or something, remember that you're the teacher. one dumb student won't change anything. if they all disrespect you, that's a problem. stay sharp and witty. call 'em fags once in a while.

      if you're worried yourself, remember you're in charge. you're leading, and they'll follow. especially if they've seen you fly already.

      anything specific?
      I'm not really nervous, except for the added liability (but who wouldn't be). I wouldn't say the students would be nervous, more surprised. I'm certainly not worried about them disrespecting me, they're mature and if one of them really doesn't like me, they have no obligation to book me. I show a level of professionalism worthy of my position.

      I'm more concerned with tackling the "oh, you're not what I expected" hump as fast as possible. Basically if you were an old rich guy training on a six figure airplane and you saw your 21 year old teacher walk up to shake your hand, would you feel uneasy? If so, what could the teacher do to make you comfortable ASAP?

      Quote Originally Posted by Artelis View Post
      Don't hesitate to own up to your mistakes if they call you out on anything, but be sure they know you're the one with a greater library of knowledge. Which also means, KNOW YOUR SHIT INSIDE AND OUT!
      Good advice. Many of my older students are more experienced than me in other aspects of aviation, and I don't hesitate to learn as much as I can from them. I find it also makes them happy when they get to share their knowledge with somebody that can keep up. One of my students today was an engineer who works at the National Research Council, we had a good conversation about aerodynamics and the physics of flight .

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      Quote Originally Posted by Spartiate View Post
      I'm more concerned with tackling the "oh, you're not what I expected" hump as fast as possible. Basically if you were an old rich guy training on a six figure airplane and you saw your 21 year old teacher walk up to shake your hand, would you feel uneasy? If so, what could the teacher do to make you comfortable ASAP?
      a test of maturity, professionalism and skill. starting with a demonstration is always powerful. no one's impressed by fencing until they actually see it done.

      it sounds like you've got 0 problems. you know what you're doing.

    6. #6
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      Just throwing this out there: Old rich guys are probably treated differently for the fact, so they might appreciate it if you treated them like an equal instead.
      Surrender your flesh. We demand it.

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      Be courageous in pointing their mistakes and admitting also your own. I have noticed same thing with new instructors in our dojo that when they are generally younger than most of the brown/black belts. Some of them have a problem with coming to correct or comment something a older or more experienced does.

      But hey, as long as your skill and knowledge is dated and you truly know what you are teaching you should have no problem. An adult man or woman notices and appreciaces capability and respect is easy to earn when you know what you are doing.
      Jujutsu is the gentle art. It's the art where a small man is going to prove to you, no matter how strong you are, no matter how mad you get, that you're going to have to accept defeat. That's what jujutsu is.

    8. #8
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      Act confident and talk clearly and don't stutter, and don't be afraid to mention your credentials occasionally (but not to the point that it sounds like bragging.) It conveys confidence in your knowledge of what you are teaching and they will pick up on that. I've taught martial arts to people much older than myself, and I never had a problem.

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