ICP: Instruction on instruction is their function

  • Published
  • By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
  • I.G. Brown Training and Education Center

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rachel Lewis led off a two-hour lesson July 9 on methods of instruction during the Instructor Certification Program at the Air National Guard’s primary education center located on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in East Tennessee.

“Our students put in a lot of hard work,” Sergeant Lewis said. “I love seeing the progression of those with or without training experience who learn that instructing is a whole different thing.”

Sergeant Lewis and other instructors assigned to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s Professional Continuing Education Division manage the two-week, intensive course. It requires no experience for attendance.

“It’s overwhelming at first, but when the light bulbs start coming on, and they realize they can do it, it’s mutually rewarding,” Sergeant Lewis said.

The course is popular among U.S. Air Force specialists who teach others as part of their regular duties. Airmen learn to develop lesson plans, analyze student needs, and give informal lectures and demonstrations. 

“Many of our students thank us at the end of the course and say how useful their newly learned skill will be back at their role as trainers,” Sergeant Lewis said.

About two dozen students were in the current class, which officials said is a good sign that the National Guard’s 90 wings value the unit-funded program.

Sergeant Lewis arrived at TEC in 2017 from an assignment in Colorado but is from the Florida National Guard. She is among a handful of instructional development experts on active duty assignment at TEC.

“What I like most about teaching ICP is the people I get to meet and connect with from all over the country,” Sergeant Lewis said. 

The section is Community College of the Air Force accredited. They offer more than a dozen professional development courses, and some involve the Army National Guard, as well as guide units to more effective training and lessons. They also develop computer-based training or Advanced Distributive Learning for the overall Department of Defense.