Principles of Instructions Course, making Airmen Competent Military Instructors

  • Published
  • By Airman Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Airmen need the necessary tools to teach new skills to other Airmen effectively. The Principles of Instructions course taught here gives Airmen these tools and teaches them how to be effective communicators and instructors. 

“Principles of Instruction (POI) is a two-week course that teaches people from all over the base, of all jobs, how to instruct so that they can teach in house courses, conduct a competent briefing to higher-ups and really hone their public speaking skills,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Jones, 372nd Training Squadron U-2 Dragon Lady Electrical and Environmental (E&E) Systems instructor. “My students have been sent to me because they are preparing to become instructors themselves to some degree.”

Jones mentioned that going from student to teacher isn’t always easy; for that reason, instructors get creative on how to break students out of their shell.

“During our two weeks, the students are taught all aspects of becoming new instructors and are also tasked with presenting two fifteen-minute lectures and a 30-minute demonstration performance to the class in conjunction with 10 written quizzes, all of which are formally graded,” said Jones.

The Air Force is always trying to save money for Airmen. This course capitalizes on that mindset by keeping Airmen at home with their families.

“If we were to send students from Beale to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, it would cost about $2,500 in temporary duty cost per student,” said Jones. “Every time I teach a class, I’m saving the Air Force $2,500 per student, and each class has approximately 12 students.”

Not only does the POI Course save the Air Force money, but it gives Airmen the experience and confidence to be an instructor.

“I’m a unit training manager, so I instruct the Air Force Trainers course here," said Senior Airman Mackenzie Holmes 9th Operations Support Squadron unit training manager. "I’m constantly with different people I’ve never met before, and being able to get up and brief in front of people who I will probably never talk to again really helps me feel more confident in my abilities as an instructor.”