Are we being too "friendly" with students?

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niwre
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Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by niwre »

With people continuously being bottle fed info and used to being "friends" with their teachers, are we losing our ability to truly being an instructor to them? With people being concerned about hurting other people's feelings or fear of ending or damaging the "friendships" at stake can this be a cause of some of the issues that face the instruction industry today? As instructors do we not have a fiduciary responsibility to our students/clients to ensure they get what they pay for? Sometimes we see instances where it calls an instructor to be particularly tough on a student for whatever reason and the gets muted because their also drinking buddies, how is that helping them? Now I understand it can be hard for someone not to get familiar with their student because we spend more one on one time than our other relationships outside of aviation. Also look at this from a business standpoint, if you were to charge any other student for the time you spent that day, lets say .5 of an hour but you decided to only charge .2 how is that fair to your employer or any other student that you charged for the same service rendered?

I guess what this rant is ultimately asking... do friendships (beyond professional) hamper ones ability to be an effective instructor?
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by iflyforpie »

Cuing CS with a 'feelings' post in 5...4...3...2...1... :wink:
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by AuxBatOn »

I get to teach and evaluate lots of my very good friends. When flying, our friendly relationship becomes a professionnal one and they expect I will give them a honest assessment of how they are doing. And i have failed some of them before.

No need to be an asshole, but no need to give free passes.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Colonel Sanders »

Somewhere along the line, the objective
in aviation ceased to be the proficient
operation of an aircraft. Instead the objective
in aviation was to make everyone "feel good",
regardless of their performance.

For us older guys, this change was pretty
bewildering, regardless of the popularity
of this sentiment, which is an apparent
cousin of political correctness.

As a metaphor, let's say we have a million
people that fervently believe that

2 + 2 = 5

There are those of us that might disagree
with this nonsense, at the risk of the ensuing
screeching and honking.

It doesn't matter how many people believe
in nonsense. It is still nonsense, regardless
of how fashionable it is.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by halfmilevis »

As someone who is just finishing their flight training, there are pros and cons to both approaches, depending on the person. For my own experience, my priority was flying, and making friends a second. My flight instructor could have been more formal with my and communication probably would have been a little bit more effective. That being said, having a working relationship and friendship are two very different things, and boundaries should be set, at least until your done your flight training... that way, when an instruction is issued by your instructor, it is more professional and less personal and feelings don’t get hurt when he gives you crap.

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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by jump154 »

I've noticed this more and more in all areas of society - where it is now very hard to deliver bad news or correction (especially in the volunteer sector) as complaints invariably result using the words "demeaning, insulting" etc. Yes - there is a level of professionalism required, but at some point one does need to tell someone 'that sucked, you need to change and get better' - Today's people seem to be very reluctant to hear that message - especially if they have paid for a service (or volunteered their time).
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

I have never had any trouble telling students what they need to do to fix what they are doing wrong. I don't insult or demean them, but there will be no doubt about what my expectations are. If the student can't deal with that then it is their problem, not mine and I will recommend they find someone else.

One of the advantages of having a reputation for being a very demanding instructor is that those type of students tend to stay away
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by davecessna »

I see nothing has changed on these forums.

What is the point of this thread?
As instructors do we not have a fiduciary responsibility to our students/clients to ensure they get what they pay for?
Were you hoping to stir up intelligent debate with this question?
Also look at this from a business standpoint, if you were to charge any other student for the time you spent that day, lets say .5 of an hour but you decided to only charge .2 how is that fair to your employer or any other student that you charged for the same service rendered?
You are insinuating that incorrectly charging a client is business malpractice. Roger.

Do you, and all instructors who give a rat's ass, want some free advice? Stick to relaying information about the dangers of carb icing, and leave out the psychobabble.

Enough of this crap, this thread is now about whether kittens are adorable.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Shiny Side Up »

We must remember that flight training being a customer driven industry in general follows market pressures. Right now there is primarily two kinds of flight training out there.

a) Cadet type training, usually with an airline focus, where the instructors can sort of beat thee kids into whatever they decide is in demand in the industry, where the training is heavily regimented, largely inflexible, but people flock to it since they perceive there to be a job waiting at the end.

b) Club style training, where generally the focus is good feelings and fun, usually with a focus on recreational and private flying. Here its important that the student is usually seeking a flying buddy as much as he is an instructor.

Most schools (and instructors) are one of the above types. Outside the box instructors are very rare. Naturally, buddy instructors are also successful, since they attract more students. Schools rarely discourage it since 1) Its pretty much impossible, and 2) it helps generate business. In case a) the buddy system is an unintended consequence, given the job market, many neophyte career pilots are looking for as many contacts as they can so it behooves them to somewhat get along (though there are exceptions - I can recall a guy who did his commercial where I did, who in a room full of other students loudly proclaimed that he wasn't here to make friends, everyone here is competition.)

Sometimes you can't help but become friends with students, as surly as I may seem, I find other pilots are generally easy to make friends with. Hell, there's just friends I haven't discovered at other airports. But that said, I got no problems telling people that they suck. Or need to improve. A good test of how good of a friend someone is, is when you can really cut them down to size and they won't take it personally. Honesty is important.

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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Genetk44 »

Surely it's different strokes for different folks......and chemistry.if the instructor and student have good chemistry all falls into place much faster and more solidly.
I taught scuba and found most students retained lessons,did better on required skills and reacted to criticism much better if we had good chemistry and if I maintained a "friendly" relationship with them as opposed to being a cold "strictly proffesional" instructor. Of course there were other students that didn't, for various reasons, mesh with me or vice-versa, and they moved to other instructors.
I know I do better as a student when me and my instructor relate on a more friendly level than coldly proffesional...and it's much easier for me to take criticism or even a severe tongue-lashing if we are on friendlier level than a strictly impersonal instructor/student level.....but that's me....I'm sure there are students that do better the other way.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Colonel Sanders »

There is military flight instruction, and there is
civilian flight instruction. The two are totally
different.

Civilian flight instruction is all about being nice
to the student. Rainbows, lollipops and making
them feel good by stuffing warm butter up their
@ss.

It will not surprise you that civilian flight instruction
is terribly inefficient. The customer gets what he
wants, which is a 100hr PPL.

Learning to fly is hard work. Sometimes it can
be pretty hard on the ego. People want to avoid
these two facts of life.

However, there is a tiny handful of people out
there, that think the hard work is worthwhile:

Image

Most everyone else just wants to play soccer
and not keep score.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Rookie50 »

Think it does depend on the student --- but overall why would I pay money to be coddled.

I have friends who can tell me how great I am when I take them flying, I am looking to be sharpened when I take instruction.

Now I am somewhat of a perfectionist as a GA pilot, I constantly self evaluate when I fly missions -- mostly that's what they are to me, nothing should be too casual about aviation -- and so I never needed too much of a beating -- could handle that myself during training.


Generally, I like the direct approach. Tell it the way it is and the areas needing improvement.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Colonel Sanders »

When people are looking for a flight school,
they will generally choose one that will make
them feel good about themselves.

Short term gain, long term pain.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Shiny Side Up »

Colonel Sanders wrote: Learning to fly is hard work. Sometimes it can
be pretty hard on the ego. People want to avoid
these two facts of life.

However, there is a tiny handful of people out
there, that think the hard work is worthwhile:
You must admit, that the tiny category you're talking about are the people you're probably going to make friends with, since they're going to be like minded in their pursuit. In my experience, if you can bruise someone's ego and they'll still have a beer with you, then you probably already get along pretty well. If they'll hold some ego bruising critique against you, then they probably weren't really someone you'd be friends with, and the flip side if you're afraid of delivering some ego bruising to them, they also probably aren't your friend. Either way, people will gravitate to one another in such a fashion. The only unfortunate part is that, like you said, there's a tiny handful, the vastness of the world might not make one meet. But that's the beauty of aviation, we can cover long distances.

Now that may sound touchy-feely, but don't worry, I still won't ask you for a hug. :wink:
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by niwre »

@davecessna
Obviously Dave you don't care a rats ass about instructing I suggest you and others like you keep wondering if CAVOK is good enough to fly or not and leave topic like this to those that care.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Colonel Sanders »

The inherent conflict of interest in civilian
instructing, is that if the student doesn't
enjoy a lesson - even an extremely valuable
one - the FTU loses a customer.

Hence a successful FTU will put a lot of
emphasis on blowing smoke up a student's
tailpipe, even (and especially) when they
don't deserve it.

This feels good to the student (customer)
but somewhere around 100 hours, they
wonder why they haven't finished their
PPL yet.

Flight instruction which focuses on making
the student feel happy all the time, is not
going to be very effective or efficient, and in
the long term, rips the student off. However
by the time the student figures this out, it
is too late, and he is replaced by a new
student that wants to feel good.

People think I'm nasty, and they're probably
right. But flying is different than golf or tennis
or whatever other hobby you might pick up in
your spare time.

If you don't do this "flying" thing right, you
and your passengers die.

Incredibly, people are quite unconcerned with
this little fact of life - and death - and instead
of learning stuff which could save their life,
prefer to bleat about not having their ego
fluffed enough.

Such behaviour, from my perspective, is
borderline insane.

I have only been instructing continuously for
over 20 years, so I probably don't know what
I'm talking about, but I have a theory that the
worse a student feels about a lesson, the more
they probably learned. The converse is true.
The better they feel about a lesson, the less
they probably learned.

Learning is hard work. Learning doesn't always
make you feel good about yourself. Not everyone
is a phenomenon that doesn't need to learn.

Incredibly, nearly everyone has this massive
feeling of entitlement, that they should be a
special phenomenon, that doesn't need to learn.

Again, insanity.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Colonel Sanders »

I love this clip from Full Metal Jacket:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUc62jD-G0o


Discuss. Was the Marine DI, portrayed by
R. Lee Ermey, merely an insane sadist?

Why was he so hard on his trainees?

What was the result of the very difficult
training that they received?

Would they have turned out to be better
soldiers, if they had a "nice" DI that let
them float through the course without
doing any work?

Isn't that what civilian flight students
want? A "nice" flight instructor, that
tells them that everything they do is
peaches and cream?
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Cat Driver »

Where the fu.k you been Colonel, maybe you should read the flight instructors guide and in there you will find that TC requires that method of teaching during the course.

It is known as " The factor of intensity "
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

Cat Driver wrote:Where the fu.k you been Colonel, maybe you should read the flight instructors guide and in there you will find that TC requires that method of teaching during the course.

It is known as " The factor of intensity "
Actually I think the Gunny is using the learning factor of "primacy" as it is understood in the Marine Corps :lol:
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by davecessna »

niwre wrote:@davecessna
Obviously Dave you don't care a rats ass about instructing I suggest you and others like you keep wondering if CAVOK is good enough to fly or not and leave topic like this to those that care.
You're dead wrong, sir. I'm paying you your poverty-level wages to teach me how to fly, in the hopes that one day I too will teach someone to fly for poverty-level wages. All that without wondering/worrying/discussing whether becoming friends with students is hampering that process.

Your initial post is as inane as your reply. Grow a pair of balls (in the gender-neutral sense) and show one of your students something new.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Cat Driver »

I'm paying you your poverty-level wages to teach me how to fly, in the hopes that one day I too will teach someone to fly for poverty-level wages.
I can not think of any other occuptation in the world where people pay thousands of dollars to work for poverty level wages.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by niwre »

davecessna wrote:
niwre wrote:@davecessna
Obviously Dave you don't care a rats ass about instructing I suggest you and others like you keep wondering if CAVOK is good enough to fly or not and leave topic like this to those that care.
You're dead wrong, sir. I'm paying you your poverty-level wages to teach me how to fly, in the hopes that one day I too will teach someone to fly for poverty-level wages. All that without wondering/worrying/discussing whether becoming friends with students is hampering that process.

Your initial post is as inane as your reply. Grow a pair of balls (in the gender-neutral sense) and show one of your students something new.
If you don't think this is a valid topic feel free to bring it up with the mods or not participate otherwise have a nice day and continue not caring.
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Pop n Fresh »

Colonel Sanders wrote: Discuss. Was the Marine DI, portrayed by
R. Lee Ermey, merely an insane sadist?
I think he was trying to alter the candidates to make them Marines.
Colonel Sanders wrote: Why was he so hard on his trainees?
So they would learn to use the pedals in order to counter adverse yaw?
Colonel Sanders wrote:
What was the result of the very difficult
training that they received?
They became better pilots?
Colonel Sanders wrote:
Would they have turned out to be better
soldiers, if they had a "nice" DI that let
them float through the course without
doing any work?
Wait, soldiers? Who is taking flying lessons to become a soldier?
Colonel Sanders wrote:
Isn't that what civilian flight students
want? A "nice" flight instructor, that
tells them that everything they do is
peaches and cream?
Do you ever worry a student you choke might eventually shoot you in the latrine?
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Colonel Sanders »

Who is taking flying lessons to become a soldier?
I was waiting for that.

There is a certain parallel here. I find it disappointing
that it is not painfully obvious.

A soldier that screws up dies, and causes the death
of people near him.

A pilot that screws up dies, and causes the death of
people near him.

Why is it acceptable, in the calculus of today's political
correctness, for pilots to crash and die? People seem
totally unconcerned with this horrible result of a lack of
competence.

Insanity.

Competence is viewed with suspicion, as another guise
of arrogance, which is the worst crime anyone can
commit - not crashing - in our politically correct world
of soccer games without scores, where everyone is
"special".

You are not special.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lfxYhtf8o4
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Re: Are we being too "friendly" with students?

Post by Pop n Fresh »

Sorry about the poor communication but I'm not good at the writing.

I am just slightly behind you in laps around the sun and it bothers me that children are encouraged to run amok in public.

I think there are elements of life that are potentially life threatening.

My children like to say, "That's no fair." Often while they are being reprimanded in a very fair manner.
We usually reply, "Life is not fair. Get used to it."

I believe if I finally book a plane and the weather cooperates, shinysideup should be blunt (honest?) with me about things I need to fix about my flying. I trust he will.

I don't think he should punch me in the stomach. I trust he won't. Even when I deserve it for being a comedian.

I know I'm not special, my mom thinks I am. Don't ruin it for her.
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