Last weekend I ran an American Canoe Association Standup Paddleboarding Level One/Two Instructor Certification Workshop in Half Moon Bay, CA under the watchful eye of Roger Schumann. We had 7 candidates attend the 3-day workshop from all parts of California with various degrees of skill and experience from the kayaking and surfing worlds.
The SUP ICW contains over 24 hours of material in a casual back-and-forth learning environment based on learning & teaching theory and personal training. Ideally, candidates will come to the course well experienced having already mastered Level 1 & 2 strokes and maneuvers. That's not always the case, however, so we do spend a significant amount of time tuning up candidates personal skills and defining the technical aspects of each stroke & maneuver. That takes time, because in my experience, not all candidates come armed with all the necessary strokes needed to pass, and before they can teach these skills they have to be very competent at them.
Learning & teaching theory become a major part of the workshop with classroom time addressing the way we learn and how to best approach a group of students that all learn in different ways and at different speeds. In the words of someone smart, "just because you're teaching, doesn't mean they're learning..." That's the challenge and the reason the ACA's Instructor training program has been around since 1973.
As an instructor on this course, I learned as much as most the candidates. I'm armed for next time with a fresh take on how to best run the schedule, cover the syllabus and give the candidates as much as possible. Having taught paddle sports for many years, I'm a strong believer in personal development - both paddling skills and coaching skills. People pay good money to learn to paddle well and as instructors it's our job to make sure we're qualified to coach them as best we can. If you teach SUP, take a good look at this course and consider putting in the time to improve your skills.
If you're interested in an ACA SUP Instructor certification workshop, email matt at calkayak dot com.