These are the current requirements to become a qualified AHA Instructor. There have been some requirements added to the process to help improve the professionalism of the qualification, such as the first aid certificate and the diary of lesson plans. It is now possible to show your abilities more often throughout the year, by allowing the demonstration of teaching skills to take place at any event or seminar where there are appropriate observers, rather than just one or two specific events every year.
Quick links to items on this page:
- 1) AHA Subscription
- 2) Learning how to teach
- 3) Teaching regularly
- 4) Teaching demonstration
- 5) First aid
- 6) Lesson plans
- 7) High standard of performance
1) AHA Subscription
You must have an up-to-date subscription to the Academy of Historical Arts. This means that at the moment, so non-subscribers are not eligible for qualification as an AHA Instructor. This may change in the future.
Honourary recognition as an AHA Instructor may be given to an individual whose AHA subscription has elapsed, but who still brings value to the Academy by teaching on its behalf and by representing the Academy on the international stage.
2) Learning how to teach
You must endeavour to receive tuition in how to teach from someone who is already a qualified AHA Instructor. This could be through attending a "teacher training" seminar, or by serving as an assistant instructor in a club run by an AHA Instructor, or any other method of gaining such experience.
The duration of this tuition should be of reasonable length for the candidate in question. A fifteen minute lecture from an AHA Instructor, with no follow-up, is probably not going to be sufficient to teach the necessary skills and behaviours to someone who has never taught before. However, for someone who is already good at teaching, a little feedback here and there over time from an AHA Instructor may be perfectly sufficient.
The purpose of this requirement is so that prospective candidates learn the skills and behaviours that we prize and look for in AHA Instructors; someone who has received teacher training from another club may have become a good instructor for another environment, but may not have quite the same skills or behaviours that we are looking for in instructors for this organisation.
3) Teaching regularly
You must be teaching on a regular basis at one of the Academy's clubs. Alternatively, you should be teaching regularly at events and small seminars if you are not located near a club. This is to ensure that you have sufficient practice at teaching, and that you have plenty of opportunity to make lesson plans, deliver lessons, think about your learning points, and develop your teaching skills over a period of time.
4) Teaching demonstration
You must teach a successful lesson in front of official observers at a national event or an afternoon seminar for another club. "Successful" is defined as receiving positive feedback from participants, and not making any major mistakes in delivery or content of the lesson! Safety of participants is also a key issue.
A national event would be something like AHA Loch Lomond, HEMAC Glasgow, FightCamp, or even something further afield such as Swordfish or HEMAC Dijon; i.e., an event that draws many participants from different clubs across the country or even from other countries. An afternoon seminar should be a reasonably long lesson where you are the "star of the show", teaching something like a four hour session, for a club at which you do not teach regularly.
The purpose of this requirement is to test your ability to teach outwith your usual circle of students; outwith the comfort zone, so to speak, with the greater pressure that comes with teaching at a larger event with unfamiliar faces.
You should be observed by at least two qualified AHA Instructors, at least one of whom should not be from your own club. Alternatively, one of the senior instructors can be your observer.
5) First aid
You should possess an up-to-date first aid qualification that is recognised throughout the UK.
6) Lesson plans
You should maintain a diary with lesson plans and learning points, demonstrating your development as an instructor within the Academy. You should include two of your early lesson plans, two of your lesson plans from the middle of your development process, and one recent lesson plan from just shortly before you teach your lesson at the national event or regional seminar. Each of these lesson plans should be followed by three key learning points that you realise you need to work on in order to improve your teaching skills before you give your next lesson. Finally, you should include a copy of your lesson plan for the national event or regional seminar.
7) High standard of performance
The individual must be trustworthy, responsible and skilled enough to merit the recognition and qualification as an AHA Instructor. The senior instructors of the organisation will not hesitate to withhold recognition as an AHA Instructor until these qualities are achieved. Recognition as an AHA Instructor is to be viewed as a stamp of approval, and so not everyone will be able to achieve this qualification easily; it may take some amount of time and personal development before the qualification is finally conferred.