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CFI Lesson Plans | What and When do I Teach?

  1. So you just got off the creating your own lesson plans hamster wheel - now what?

    1. You know how to use them for the checkride but are unsure how to use them in the real world.

  2. I can teach from the lesson plans for checkride, but what about taking a student from zero through Private Pilot?

    1. A consistent trend in thinking is that the CFI training is all about lesson plans.  This is the number one thing that CFI applicants focus on.  Not much discussion is given on how to use them day-to-day with actual students.

  3. Do you still think CFI training is self-study with a sign-off from a two-year CFI?  Check out 61.183 and 61.185.

    1. Yes, there is a lot of self-study for the CFI rating, but that doesn’t ring the bell. Self-study and finding someone qualified to “sign you off” only work if you know what will be tested on the checkride.

    2. Ask yourself if you can teach every lesson. 

    3. You are required to receive ground instruction for the FOI and the aeronautical knowledge areas for Recreational, Private, and Commercial Pilots.  There is no provision to use a home study course as there is with most ratings.  The instruction must be given by an authorized instructor who meets the qualifications for instructing initial CFI applicants - 61.195(h.)

  4. I’ll just use the Private Pilot ACS to teach things in the correct order.

    1. The ACS is not a syllabus. It’s a testing document.  Yes, you are required to teach everything in it, but the order of the ACS may not align with your student, the schools’ policies, or efficiency in general.

  5. What’s the difference between using my lesson plans for the checkride and with an actual student?

    1. Your lesson plans were created to teach someone who knows nothing about the topic and to convince the examiner that you know the material and can teach it.

    2. You rarely need to teach the student pilot everything for the aeronautical knowledge.  A good home study course or groundschool will do a lot of the heavy lifting.  So, you have a lesson plan not built for this person.

  6. Why don’t I see working CFIs using the lesson plans they created when teaching their students?

    1. Because they don’t work, they can work, but the CFI applicant hasn’t been instructed on how to use them for the following situations:

      1. A new student who has never done this lesson before but has completed everything up to this point.

      2. A student who is struggling to complete this lesson.

      3. A stage check or end-of-course check student.

      4. A person who is preparing for a checkride within a week.

      5. A flight review.

These all require a different approach, but the lesson is still the same title - Steep Turns, for example.

  1. What is a preflight briefing?

    1. This is a 5- —or 10-minute briefing on how to perform this particular maneuver(s) just before a flight. It would contain procedures for this airplane, where to perform the maneuver, completion standards for today, and an outline of the maneuver, usually with a model airplane.

    2. The preflight briefing should also ensure that the student understands the maneuver sufficiently to attempt it with a reasonable expectation of success.

  2. A roadmap would be excellent for showing me what and when to teach something. It’s called a Syllabus, and there are plenty to choose from.

    1. A syllabus is a roadmap for teaching. It is a guide to a class or, in our case, a rating. It lists minimum times and, in some cases, exact hours. There are usually several stages, each with completion standards. Each stage contains lessons that take the student from the unknown to the known and tell the instructor what to teach and when.

  3. CFI training typically doesn’t teach CFI applicants how to use a syllabus with their lesson plans. Why? It doesn’t work very well.

    1. Lesson plans for a practical test are not very effective with a syllabus because they take way too long to deliver, and there are many things to accomplish in a given lesson. To use a syllabus effectively, home study, a ground school or separate ground sessions at another time, and a preflight briefing are required.

  4. Companies that make Syllabi are interested in selling their products and locking each lesson to align exclusively with what they sell.

    1. You will find it easy to teach from a syllabus like King Schools, ASA, Gleim, Etc.

    2. You must use that company’s videos, books, online content, etc.

  5. Using Pathway and Teach Brief-Fly! And the companion guide.

    1. We created a syllabus that uses the FAA resources. It steps you through each lesson with the content preloaded.  It also contains the preflight briefings.  TBF contains complete lesson plans, preflight briefings, and what to say when demonstrating every maneuver.  A companion guide tells the student what to read, do, etc., for every flight maneuver and ground session.  It uses the FAA handbooks.  There is also a short assessment for each lesson.

  6. How to use a commercially developed syllabus with the FAA resources.

    1. Use it as a checklist.

    2. Using everything in the exact order that the syllabus says may not make sense because you are not using that company’s content.

    3. Look at each lesson ahead of time and create a mini-lesson plan for what you will do in this lesson for the time you have. You may be able to finish everything andr at other times, only a portion. 

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