While having already qualified as a Media Designer, the challenge that now faced me was to go back to school for two weeks. I trained to be an instructor. In order to be able to offer our next generation the best training therefore I decided to take the instructor aptitude test at the Chamber of Commerce in Offenbach. You can’t sit it without completing an appropriate preparatory course, however.
Back to school
Like in a vocational college, the course was divided up into “activity fields”. The focus of the overall course was on activity field 3 (“Conducting training”), the activity field with the greatest practical relevance. Among other things, I was taught how a learning process unfolds, which teaching methods are the most suitable for specific content and how the training should ideally be structured.
Theory wasn’t glossed over in the two weeks either: in the remaining activity fields 1, 2 and 4, I got to grips with the legal foundations of a training course and dealt with laws, paragraphs and clauses in the process. The two instructors of the course – Mrs Pohl and Mrs Pitz – were thankfully very good at motivating their students. They were also able to impart the content of the many legal texts in layman’s terms.
The further the course progressed, the more nervous the participants became about the actual instructor aptitude test that awaited them at the end of it. This was divided into two parts. Firstly, a written part, which took place on 6th December 2016 and comprised 70 multiple-choice questions relating to the topics we had studied. 3 hours were allocated for this. One week later came the practical part of the test. This could either have taken the form of a presentation on a teaching method or a rather practical instruction task. The majority of the participants on our course opted for the instruction variant. We subsequently split ourselves up into pairs before the exam in order to take turns playing “instructor” and “trainee”
My partner and I had our turn on the second day of exams. She was a trained architectural draughtsman. Therefore she used her instruction task to show me how to fold any blueprint to fit on a portable sheet of A4 paper for use on a building site. That was one process that I won’t forget in a hurry.
In my instruction task, I worked with her to clarify the terms “corporate design” and “corporate identity”. I also had her work out the most important components of a corporate design. After the instruction task, the board of examiners held an expert discussion with me. The aim was reflecting back on the instruction I had just conducted. In the course of this, they asked questions on my chosen teaching method, the content of the instruction and the trainee’s motivation; I felt able to answer these tolerably well. After a short recess, I was summoned back into the room to receive my assessment. The first word that really stuck in my head was “passed”. It turned out that the expert discussion didn’t go as badly as I’d initially thought. Quite the opposite, in fact: it actually went very well.
This was a successful end to the year for me.
And we’re off!
In February, the time had finally come! I had the chance to apply everything I’d learned in the instructor’s course to a “guinea pig”. Laura, one of our BA students at Herth+Buss, was assigned to the Marketing Department for two months. After briefly introducing the department and answering the questions “What exactly does the Marketing Team do?” and “What is a corporate design?”, I gave her one or two creative tasks to fulfil in the usual media design programs. At the end of her stint in Marketing, we will both sit down for a career development meeting. This will give me the opportunity to assess Laura – and in turn give her the opportunity to assess me as an instructor.