PAMSP training providers – Let’s try to be objective: December-February 2017 (Part 4 of 5)

December 2017 – the “Freezing Preview”

In order to expose PA Instructors to the new curricula, (2) small groups of PAMSP Instructors from across the Commonwealth were invited to participate in a preview of the Beginner Rider Clinic classroom and range.

The Instructors were from a wide range of backgrounds, different locations across the Commonwealth, and not all were fond of a new Administrator, with a new set of classes, coming to PA.

The new curricula preview took place at Appalachian Harley Davidson in Harrisburg in mid-December. One group attended one weekend, one group the following weekend.

The new Administrator had secured a classroom location, flew Instructor Trainers in from Ohio and staff from California at their own expense, painted a range as it would appear in the future across PA and asked the Instructors to bring their own personal Motorcycles to try the course.

The event opened to a packed room each day. The classroom was set up just as any other BRC student classroom, training began as if we were students, seeing the curriculum for the first time (which we were). Some attendees began to challenge the Instructor leading the classes, any question asked was answered.

The weather outside was 30 degrees, a light snow would fall through the day and a group of 12 instructors at a time would ride Beginner Rider Clinic exercises.

Coaching was short and direct. Much time was spent on turning where, due to the variable traction, some wheels were known to slide. Instructors challenged the students – other Instructors in new and different ways, directly, with coaching. Braking exercises challenged experienced Instructors. After a while some Instructors pulled off to the side too fatigued to continue – and this was the beginner class!

For those who had been teaching the same curricula for so long, change was going to be a challenge, especially as the style and delivery was so different. Some were resistant, confrontational. Some thought it was a move backwards. Some simply elected not to return the next day.

Many were intrigued by the new curriculum & were looking forward to the training they would receive in the new year. The feeling among the majority of the Instructors was positive. A clinic focused on aspects of riding that can reduce injuries and fatalities, way more focus on turning, a fundamental skill most motorcyclist lack, a lot of focus on braking – threshold braking, for beginners!

“The California Crew”

Normally the 2018 PAMSP season would have started in mid 2017 – Office and Regional Management securing location leases, Office sending schedules to Site Coordinators, Site Coordinators receiving assignments back from Instructors… Site Coordinators no longer existed, none of this was happening – and it was 3 months until Students would start arriving for training classes.

With the new Administration staff not able to move into PAMSP offices until the end of January, no way to train Instructors in PA, the new Administrator invited (2) groups of Instructors to California to train for 2 weeks, at their expense.

The goal at the end of those 2 weeks? Have the first set of PAMSP Instructors certified in key parts of the new curricula – BRC, 3WRC, ITR, after taking all of it during the same time as students.

The Instructors arrived from all over PA and soon found they would be bunking with another Instructor. The two weeks went very quickly, taking every Clinic the provider offered – BRC, IRC, ARC – learning the BRC end to end, class to range, teaching a live class the BRC, taking the ITR/3WRC, then teaching a live class.

Days started early in the morning, then went until the wee hours of the next morning. +14hrs plus, every day, sun or rain, range or classroom, hotel room or hotel lobby. Instructors reviewing range cards together, practicing their presentations – CRT, transition statements, etc.

One of the most amazing aspects of the training was that the Trainers were right there with them the entire time. Needed to run through a presentation at 3AM? They were there. Wanted to ask a question at 5AM, call them on the phone. They let all the Instructors know that if they didn’t give up on themselves, they would not either. It was a shocking example of simply paying it forward.

They were not soft, not at all, but they were there to support your max potential, not tear you down to have you crawl back up. Ask a question? Get a direct and specific answer. Have a question about the range, it’s in the range cards.

During the final days, the Instructors watched their peers run through their live BRC assessment from seating outside of the classroom, taking place at a minor league ball park. They would then go out to the range, take students through their paces, all part of their assessment. PA Instructors teaching CA students a class they had just taken themselves a short time ago, studied like crazy to get ready to teach. PA Proud.

At the end of the two weeks, not all were successful but the Program Administrator would continue to work with them – if they wanted to continue on – until they were.

PAMSP Instructors proved their determination, professionalism, hard work and caring for the program. No one gave up, ever.

The two groups returned from California ready to be a catalyst for the new program, and help other Instructors by paying it forward, as well as some later becoming Trainers themselves.

Next: PAMSP training providers –
Let’s try to be objective: 2018 – The PAMSP Office Opens (Part 5 of 5)

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