How to select a CHL class in Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Roanoke, Trophy Club…

If you are located in Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Trophy Club, Roanoke, Westlake, or really anywhere in the DFW Metroplex, you will find selecting a CHL instructor isn’t as easy at it sounds.   There are lists of instructors with missing websites,  old phone numbers, outdated information, or no scheduled classes.  When you do find a class, what do you look for to ensure you’ve found the right class for you?

As an instructor, I’ve also been through these classes as a student.   No one knows it all.  I can always learn something from an instructor.   I go into each class with an open mind.  I’ve seen instruction that has worked well and I’ve seen instructor behavior that is counterproductive to learning.  It made me decide to provide a specific type of TX CHL class experience for my students.   Here are some points to ponder when seeking out a CHL instructor:

– Class size.   Do you want to be in a group of 10-12 or a group of 50, 100, or more?  Economies of scale allow large classes to be less expensive but there is often little opportunity for questions and group interaction.  If your group is large, are there adequate numbers of safety officers at the range to monitor everyone’s safety practices?  I personally believe you will learn and retain significantly more knowledge in a smaller group.

– Class location.   Is the class taught in a classroom or conference room that is comfortable, free of distractions, and conducive to learning?  Or is it taught in some one’s living room with Fido and the kids running around?  Or an uncomfortably warm room in a noisy restaurant during their business hours?  Distractions during class detract from your learning.   Our classes are held in dedicated conference and meeting locations.

– Material.   The Texas CHL program has a set of mandatory topics.  However, the program gives instructors an incredible amount of flexibility in how those topics are covered, and what additional topics are discussed.    I’ve seen that extra time used for religious and/or political discussions.  I’ve seen that extra time used to try to sell students other products and services ranging from additional training classes and accessories to baked goods.   I facilitate discussion on the selection of concealed carry methods,  choices in ammunition,  the myths of caliber debate, and some common pitfalls many new CHLs encounter.

– Presentation style.   There are many knowledgeable and skilled instructors.  Unfortunately, not all are adept at the art of teaching.   Hundreds of Power Point slides might cover all of the mandatory bullet points (no pun intended) but you’ll learn more with visual aids, role play, and group participation.  You’ll be with your instructor for at least 10 hours.  I strive to make the day as fun as it is educational.

– Attitude.   I have been through classes taught by the “know it all,” more focused on telling you that he or she is the expert than imparting the knowledge.    The range portion of the CHL qualification requires strict safety rules, but the classroom is about communicating concepts and information clearly and ensuring everyone understands the laws and course materials.  CHL classes are a mix of new and experienced shooters.  The drill instructor approach can be pretty intimidating for a new shooter.

– Safety safety safety.  I’ve been to a class where the instructor pulled out a firearm and passed it around the class without bothering to demonstrate it was unloaded.   The demonstration could have easily used a mock-up “blue gun” and this type of behavior from an instructor does not instill proper safety discipline to the new shooters in class.

I’m clearly opinionated on what a CHL class should look like.   A small group for both safety and interaction, a collaborative exchange of ideas and information, focus on the course topic and not other agendas, and a comfortable and appropriate learning environment.

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