Teaching Techniques for Instructors

Attitudes to Drill and Marching

  1. The methods of instruction and the attitude of the instructor and other staff in the Pathfinder Club are critical factors in the response of the Pathfinder to Drill and Marching.
  2. Pathfinder marching is not related to military training. The instructor is teaching a skill that develops a positive response in Pathfinders (both physically and mentally), and that is used on all Pathfinder occasions.
  3. The instructor needs to train the Pathfinder so that the skills are learnt in a positive, fun atmosphere. When a mistake is made it is a time for encouragement and not rebuke. When a group gets it right it is a time for affirmation. The time spent in training should be just long enough to learn a skill and maintain standards.
  4. The instructor should develop methods of training that create a positive atmosphere, such as:
    1. Drill down – Who is left standing by responding correctly to the orders given?
    2. Demonstrations, especially by leaders.
    3. Using marching music.
    4. Get the Club to develop their own routines or encourage them to develop original moves that the Club may adopt for certain programmes.
    5. Singing marching or club songs.
    6. Holding a marching contest as outlined in the Way to Go curriculum.

Reasons for Teaching Drill & Marching

  1. Drill and marching skills are taught because they:
    1. Teach a group how to work together as a team.
    2. Develop physical coordination.
    3. Set the standard for the execution of any duty.
    4. Build a sense of confidence between Club staff and Pathfinders that is essential to morale.
    5. Encourage self-confidence.
    6. Introduce the Pathfinder to the concept of timing.
    7. Instil discipline and orderliness that will carry over into adulthood.
    8. Teach the Club staff how to correctly use drill and marching to control activities involving Pathfinders
    9. Result in high morale and respect for authority, when utilised correctly.
    10. Are fun.
  2. Good marching develops a group spirit and high morale within the Club. There is a sense that everyone is working together, everyone is important and they are proud to belong to the local Pathfinder Club.
  3. Drill and Marching do something for the Club that nothing else can because everyone is responding in the same way, moving together, travelling in a common direction and having a common goal.
  4. Drill and marching are used to:
    1. Maintain control at all times.
    2. Move quickly and efficiently from one activity to another.
  5. Activities include, but are not restricted to:
    1. The local Club program.
    2. Pathfinder Club ceremonies.
    3. Conference programs.
    4. Public parades.
    5. Public ceremonial occasions such as ANZAC Parades etc.
    6. Visits by dignitaries.

Information for the Instructor

  1. Set and maintain a high standard.
    1. Since example is usually imitated, the instructor must set and maintain a high standard of uniform, drill and discipline.
  2. Develop the unit to its maximum potential.
    1. The instructor must approach the Pathfinders with goodwill and skill when undertaking a session of instruction.
    2. The Pathfinders will be quick to note the instructor’s standard and set their own accordingly.
    3. They will work with the instructor and develop under his/her skill as an instructor if the activity is made interesting for them.
    4. Instructors must bear in mind that one demonstration is worth more than a lot of talk and no action.
    5. Demonstrations must be excellent, and exaggerated movements of the body, head and hands are to be avoided.
    6. Be prepared to demonstrate a procedure as many times as is needed.
    7. The instructor must develop a vocabulary of short, incisive words with which to impress the unit that there is something positive and definite to be done.
    8. Give praise and credit where it is due.
    9. Do not press a unit beyond its ability and capacity.
    10. The object is to help the unit drill as well as they can.
  3. Short rests must be given.
    1. This is important, especially in the early stages of training.
    2. Pathfinders under instruction must not be allowed to remain in a strained position during demonstrations, questions or explanations. To overcome this the unit can be ordered to “stand easy” or “rest” if applicable.
    3. When the Pathfinders are ordered to “rest” or “stand easy” for a physical rest during drill instruction, the instructor can maintain mental activity by questioning on the subject matter of the lesson or previous lessons.
  4. Conduct the lesson in several stages.
    The lesson may be conducted by the instructor in two stages:

    Stage 1.

    1. Outline the purpose of the position or movement to be taught.
    2. Demonstrate and explain the position or movement, calling out the time.
    3. Demonstrate and explain the first part of the movement.
    4. Demonstrate and explain the first part of the movement.
    5. Practise the club on the first part of the movement.
    6. Teach the second and each subsequent movement following the sequence described in “c” and “d”.

    Stage 2.

    1. Practise the club in the complete movement, the instructor calling out the time.
    2. Have the club carry out the complete movement calling out the time, until uniformity is achieved.
    3. Practise the club in the complete movement, the Pathfinders calling the time silently to themselves.

Blueprint for Good Drill.

  1. Revision – Revise what has been previously taught that is relevant to the lesson to be undertaken.
  2. Briefing – Explain the lesson and the reason for it.
  3. Silent demonstration – Demonstrate the complete movement to show the Pathfinders the standard to be reached.
    A demonstration is worth more than many words.
  4. Calling the time – In the early stages of training, it is helpful for the Pathfinders to call out the time when executing drill movements.
    1. At the “executive” stage of the order, the Pathfinder will
      1. Execute the first stage of the movement and simultaneously call out “one”;
      2. Call “two” and “three” while observing the “regulation” or standard pause;
      3. Continue to repeat points one and two above for each and every stage thereafter throughout the movement; and,
      4. When executing the final stage of the movement simultaneously call out “one”.
  5. Check faults – This is most important. We all learn from our mistakes.
    1. Call the fault loud enough for all to hear, and name the person at fault.
    2. This is done so that the individual Pathfinder will know that they are at fault and not some other person.
    3. However never humiliate or shame the Pathfinder.
  6. Demand quality performance – It is the quality of the drill that counts, not the time spent on it.
    1. The Pathfinder will only deliver the level of excellence that is demonstrated and demanded.
    2. Poor results denote poor instruction.
  7. Never try to bluff.
    1. If an instructor makes a mistake with an instruction, respect will be maintained if the mistake is admitted and corrected immediately or on the next drill parade.
    2. In the event of an instructor giving the wrong command, train Pathfinders to return to the previous position with the order “as you were”.

Words of Command

  1. The word of command must be clearly understood.
    1. A good word of command will produce good drill. It does not come easily; it needs both practice and development before the successful drilling of a unit can be achieved.
  2. Words of command are divided into “cautionary” and “executive” stages
    1. Words of command are divided into cautionary, e.g. “about”; and executive stages, e.g. “TURN”.
      The executive stage must be sharp, and of a higher pitch than the cautionary. The word of command must be clearly understood by the unit.
    2. (Throughout this manual, words of command are enclosed in quotation marks. The executives are shown in CAPITAL LETTERS. For example, Director: “Pathfinders, about TURN.”)
    3. The person giving the order will direct the command to a specific person or group, for instance, the Colour Guard.
    4. The person or group to which the command is directed is stated before the cautionary stage of the command.
  3. Delivery of words of command.
    1. Timing during delivery.
    2. Give the same pause between the cautionary and executive command each time it is given.
    3. Bad timing of words of command will destroy good drill and lower morale.
    4. Pathfinders will learn quickly when to anticipate the executive command when the pause is always the same.
  4. Projection of the voice.
    1. Always give a word of command with the full power of the voice.
    2. A soft or “confidential” word of command loses authority and leads to poor drill.
  5. Crisp execution.
    1. Executive words of command must be given crisply and sharply.
    2. A drawling delivery of words of command will produce a slovenly reaction.
  6. To abort a command.
    1. When it is desired to stop an incomplete movement, cancel an incorrect order or get back to the last position, the command “As you were” will be given.
  7. Give practice in responding to a command.
    1. In the early stages of training, the club is to call out the time when executing drill movements.
    2. To warn the club that the time is to be called out, the instructor is to precede the command for the movement by the cautionary command “calling out the time.”
    3. As an example, on the command, “Calling out the time, right TURN”, the club:
    4. Executes the first movement of the turn on the executive order and simultaneously calls out “one”,
    5. On completing the first movement calls “two”, then “three” while observing the standard pause;
    6. When executing the final movement simultaneously calls out “one