“Teachers should prepare the student for the student’s future, not for the teacher’s past.”
As an Academy trainer are you preparing people for the challenges you faced “back in the day”, or for the normal of now, and the future they will likely be facing out on the street?
The world is constantly changing. Laws change, policies change, technology changes, how people use technology to communicate and conduct business changes, bosses change, people change, priorities change, knowledge changes and expectations change. The criminal element is continually learning from law enforcement and changing their strategies and tactics knowing that we often struggle to catch up.
Has your training changed to keep up with the ever changing world? When was the last time you updated your lesson plans, PowerPoint and videos? There are agencies still using 10, 20 or 30 year old training philosophies, practices and training modules. That is unacceptable.
Yes, we need to learn from the past, but are you simply telling stories from the past or sharing lessons from the past while creating an understanding of how those lessons apply in 2020 and beyond.
Yes, there are tried and true principles that have stood the test of time, but they need to be taught in a manner that is reflective of today’s world and today’s realities.
Disguising the excuse, “We have always done it this way.” as “tradition” is not acceptable. If you have traditions in your training can you explain the rationale behind those traditions? Can you explain their application in today’s world? Can you explain how those traditions support the Mission, Vision and Values of your organization today and how they advance the profession moving forward? Or, do you just fall back on, “That is the way we do it here. It is part of tradition.”
If you are not preparing the people you train for the realities they will face in the field today, and not preparing them for the future they will likely face in their careers, then you are setting them up for failure and doing a disservice to them, your agency, your community and the profession.
Keeping up with the changes and continually updating training material and methodologies is a lot of work. That is part of what we all sign up for when we accept the role of “Trainer”. When we are no longer willing to do the work, then it is time to move on from teaching.
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