Prepping to Teach Skills to Your Group

Photo by: Abdul Rahman

Recently, I have had a couple of interactions with others where I just didn’t understand where they were coming from.  They started talking and sharing a situation, but I needed background info. and needed them to backup to understand what they were talking about.  I like to see the big picture and then narrow in on the subject.  But not everyone is like that.  It got me to thinking about teaching preparedness skills.  You might not be a classroom teacher, but you might need to teach skills one day.

Bare with me as I go extreme to make a point.  The scenario is that society has collapsed, the mad max scenario is realized, you have fought for survival and now are in a rebuilding process.  Because you were a prepper, you have skills and knowledge that others don’t.  You are quickly recognized as an “expert” and people keep coming to you for how-to advice.  You realize that you need to start spreading some of your “expert” knowledge to others, so you want to start teaching them what you know.  But you are not sure how you go about teaching skills to others?

You might start out with the way you learn best or the way you were taught, but that might frustrate others.  You could adopt the “take it or leave it” attitude, but are you doing any good doing that?

I talk a little bit about learning modalities in my free ebook, Education After the Collapse.  This topic can’t be scratched in one article – there are tons of books on teaching, some crap, some worth it.  I just want to point out one concept that is easy to understand and remember.  People learn going from big picture to small picture concepts OR small picture to big picture concepts.  Let me give you an example.  Let’s say you want to teach someone how to build a fire.

Photo by: Rok Lipnik

Big Picture –> Small Picture

This person wants to know that building a fire is a life saving measure.  You need fire for warmth, to cook your food, boil your water, to make things, etc…  Fire needs three things: fuel, an ignition and oxygen.  Fuel can consist of wood, paper, oil-based products, anything that will light on fire.  An ignition is anything that creates a spark like a lighter, matches, flint and steel, steel wool and a battery, rubbing two sticks together, etc…  Oxygen is just air.  Make sure that air can get to your fire.  You can’t make fire in a closed tin can.  When you make your fire, you should consider safety and have a set place, away from other things that can catch on fire…

Ok, I hope you kind of see where I’m coming from.  A big picture person wants to understand the big picture and move down to the smaller components.

Small Picture –> Big Picture

This person wants to start with the smaller components of building a fire and move from there.  You would probably gather some tinder, small twigs, bigger sticks, use a lighter and start a fire.  As the tinder gets going, you would add a few twigs, followed by more twigs, followed by bigger sticks, etc…  (This is not necessarily learning by hands-on experiences.)  Eventually, you would throw bigger logs on.  As you are doing this, you are pointing out that your fire is built in a safe manner, away from other things that can burn, etc…   Then, you would talk about how fire is necessary for humans to stay warm, eat, etc…

The reason this is important is because learners will become frustrated if they don’t understand what they are learning.  You want to be an effective teacher and share your knowledge.  You won’t always be around and the more that know how to do something, the less work you have to do.

It takes time to know how a person best learns.  You have to get to know them and learn their style.  Any good teacher does that in the classroom setting.  It is important to be able to “read” your students and move them to where they need to be.  If you are coming from a big picture concept and they keep asking you “yeah, but how to do you start the fire.” They might need to experience your lesson from a small picture perspective.  If you are teaching from a small picture perspective and they keep asking you how and why questions, they might need to grasp your teaching from a big picture perspective.

Even if society never falls apart and things continue to limp along as they have the last few years, knowing that some people do better learning concepts differently is good to know.  But, if things don’t limp along, as people start to “wake-up” in greater numbers, you might be asked (required) to share what you know.  You can save you and your potential students some frustration.

Other Articles:

Learning Styles: Holistic or Global Learning

Are You a Big Picture Thinker or Detail-Oriented?
Are You a Big Picture Thinker or Detail-Oriented?

Are You a Big Picture Thinker or Detailed Oriented?

Big Picture to Details OR Details to Big Picture Within Concept-Based Instruction


Are You a Big Picture Thinker or Detail-Oriented?

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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