For months, a few individuals within Fly Fishers International have been modifying the existing Teach the Teachers Workshop for PHWFF volunteers. The goal was to condense the existing workshop into a day-and-a-half format similar the schedule used in our regional training conferences and still maintain its value. MCI Tim Lawson has been teaching this course for many years, so he was the ideal person to modify it for our use. MCIs Mark Milkovich, Bruce Richards and Jonathan Walter were involved in writing and reviewing the manual, as well as providing guidance along the way.
The first PHWFF Teach the Teachers Workshop was the weekend of March 16 & 17, 2019, at Pasadena Casting Club in CA. Sixteen PHWFF volunteers from five programs in Alaska, San Diego, Redding, Victorville and Long Beach participated. Lead instructor was MCI Tim Lawson, with help from CI Leigh Ann Swanson and MCI Ray Bianco. A comprehensive manual will be ready soon to accompany the course.
The course covered many topics related to teaching casting. We talked about casting mechanics, dynamics, definitions, the loop and its characteristics, the “Essentials” and the “Six Step Method”. Then we reviewed how to teach pick up and lay down, false cast and roll cast, with benchmarks for each. We learned about the most common faults and methods to fix them. There was a discussion about the principles of adult learning, what makes a good instructor and general guidelines for teaching. There were many tips as well as opportunities to “teach” other students during the workshop. It was a full course but not overwhelming for the students and Tim kept it fun.
On behalf of everyone who attended, I want to thank Tim Lawson, Leigh Ann Swanson and Ray Bianco for their valuable instruction. Thanks also go to Pasadena Casting Club for the use of their clubhouse and casting pond, and to President Wenda Payan for providing terrific lunches both days. The hospitality very much appreciated.
The aim of Teach the Teachers is to improve the ability of PHWFF volunteers to teach casting to our participants. Every one of us agreed that the workshop did just that. This valuable educational experience will help us be better casting instructors for those we serve. This day-and-a-half-long workshop will be offered during the FFI Expo and elsewhere soon. Stay tuned.