I Love Teaching – Don’t I?
Teaching is something I’m very comfortable with. It’s something I really enjoy. I also enjoy mentoring people – new instructors, team mates, former students.
I’m teaching, or I will be, a class of our new hires for this coming tax season. Instead of having one co-instructor, I’m mentoring two new instructors. There are good aspects to this – the number of classes is split three ways instead of two. If one of us is out, there are still two instructors in the classroom. And the students get experience with three different and distinct teaching and coaching styles.
But there are some negatives too. I have to coordinate with two people instead of one. Neither instructor has taught a long course – like new hire, which is 3 months long. We have six weeks to prep for 3 months of teaching – and they haven’t ever prepped for anything longer than a day or two.
And then there’s the personality conflicts. They’ve already started with one of the instructors. I’m the senior instructor because I’ve done this five times, and because I teach the actual instructor certification class. Our lead instructor, who is coordinating all six new hire classes, asked me to take on two new instructors because of my experience and my planning. But one of the co-instructors insists on doing some things their own way, saying I need to trust them that everything will work out. They don’t, or won’t, understand the need to work as a team and within the same framework. They refuse to accept that my experience is valid.
It’s a discussion we had multiple times in the first two weeks of prep. I feel like this instructor is surrounded in a fog that absorbs everything that’s explained to them and doesn’t let it actually impact them. I don’t’ know how to get through to them, but I won’t let it hurt our students’ learning.
I need to figure this out, but this is unmapped territory for me. I’ve never had a co-instructor so resistant to suggestion and request. All I can do right now is keep trying.