Well, this is an interesting turn of events. I decided while I am studying for my Extra class license that I would give back to the community and see about becoming an instructor for new hams.
I just received notice today that the ARRL has accepted me as a Registered Licensing Instructor. I am now able to teach both the Technician and General license preparation classes. I will not be able to teach the Extra class until after I receive my Extra ticket myself, but I can now teach the other classes.
My Instructor Textbook and other materials will arrive in a couple days and I am going over the PowerPoint presentations to make sure they are ready to go. I don't want to teach my first class until after the first of the year though.
I have always enjoyed teaching classes. For the past 12 years I have been a Wilderness First Aid & CPR Instructor Trainer, which means along with teaching classes to the general public, I also trained and certified instructors to teach the classes.
Earlier this year I chose to stop teaching those classes because after my heart attacks 4 years ago, performing the CPR demonstrations the way they actually should be done was just too much for me.
I could have half-assed taught the CPR class like most instructors do, but I just can't teach a class that way. I will not do anything half-assed. I am always very thorough in my instructions. I have even had nurses and physicians who have taken the class for years say that they never learned as much in their previous years of taking classes as they did in my class.
That is what I want to also bring to my amateur radio licensing classes as well. I could just "go through the motions" and hope for the best when the students go take their exams, but that is not my style of teaching. I want to make sure that each of my students has the opportunity to not only pass the exam, but to actually learn the material so that they get started on the right path to become exceptional amateur radio operators.
I noticed a couple things in the Technician class that I took that I wished had been done a little differently, and I want to incorporate a few of those things into my Technician classes.
The General classes are not even offered here, so I especially want to teach that one so that I can assist new hams in getting their first upgrade. Once I receive my Extra ticket I also want to offer the Extra classes, which are also not offered by anyone else here in Hawaii.
I have all of the necessary audio/video equipment for teaching the classes left over from my first aid & CPR classes. The only thing that will be a problem is a location to hold the classes. Since we do not charge anything for the classes and volunteer our time to teach them, any expenses comes directly out of my pocket for holding the classes.
I have also decided that I want to offer an incentive for my Technician students to pass their license exam by giving them a brand new Baofeng UV-5R hand-held amateur radio, just like the one I carry with me, already pre-programmed with the simplex and local repeater frequencies used here on Oahu for passing their exam and getting their Technician class license.
I am waiting for my Volunteer Examiner application to be approved so that I will be ale to be one of the examiners when they take their exams. If I am going to teach them the class I might as well give them their exams too. This way they see someone they already know when they show up to take their exams and hopefully they won't be as nervous.
Coming up with a location to give the classes will be very tricky. That part will take a lot of work to figure out. Teaching the class is the easy part. I will keep you updated on my progress leading up to my first class.
I'm Finally Licensed
In upcoming episodes we will take a look at Morse Code, Antennas, Handheld UHF/VHF Radios, and Mobile UHF/VHF Radios.