December 7, 2020, Israel

What does it take to become a teacher? What does it take to become a good teacher?

Well I have been a teacher for a long time, and I come from a long line of teachers. Before teaching Krav Maga I taught other subjects including Talmud, Bible, History, Math and Science. There are people who still refer to me simply as "Tutor". 

I will share my secrets. 

The first point I want to share is to be a teacher, you must teach. Now that might seem obvious, but I have a point. Many people believe they need to spend years training to be a teacher. Now it is true that the knowledge you must have to teach a subject properly can often take years to acquire. Certainly a great professor of history will be a master of ancient Rome, Greek history, the Middle East, the Persian Empire etc., but one does not have to be a master to begin.

My point is...teachers teach. If you are in class and the person next to you did not understand the lesson but you did, you explain it to him. You do not need to have a doctorate to help a fellow student. When you teach you actually improve your own understanding of the material. As you explain it you become aware of points that you had missed, you realize you need to research certain areas further, questions come up that will deepen your own understanding. As soon as you start teaching you start learning more. And this is my point.

If you wait until you are a "master" you might never become a master. But if you begin teaching, informally at first, you will gradually grow into a real teacher. If you know one Krav Maga technique and you share it with another student, or with a friend; you are teaching, you have begun your path on the way to become a master instructor. It is the same with a language. Many people study a language for years, but yet never speak it. My approach is if I know two words in a language, I will use those two words. I do not wait to be perfect, I do not wait to master the rules of Malaysian grammar, I will just say Hai Semua!

Often a Krav Maga student will hesitate, he wants to teach but is worried that he is not quite ready, fair enough, that is why we have levels; Apprentice Instructor, Assistant Instructor, Associate Instructor, Full Instructor and Master Instructor. You do not need to be a black belt to be an Apprentice Instructor, the very words means you are still learning, you are learning the trade of teaching.

I call this approach Teaching Learning. I feel the best way to learn something is to start teaching it. When you teach you notice a great deal that you had previously missed. I am still improving by having students point things out, ask questions, make offhand remarks, the teaching process is a great learning process. So don't hesitate, jump in.

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