Teaching Cadets


Hi All,
I’ve just started teaching the youngest group of cadets on the history of the RAF due to the shortage of staff at my sqn , does anyone have any good videos and tips on how to keep them focused?


A large stick normally works with the focus.


Cattle prod. My children’s behaviour has improved markedly since we got cattle…


There are powerpoints on ultiflop for all the classes. You Tube has things that can be used in lessons as well, these appeal to different learning styles.

Prepare a time line in ten year intervals with boxes underneath and give them a jumbled set of numbered sentences relating to RAF history and they put the corresponding number in the box. You can turn this into a powerpoint slide with all the points going to right spot.
I’ve did this with history of flight when it first came into the syllabus. I don’t teach this anymore, but it seemed to work.

With respect to keeping them focussed, think of school. In a class of mixed ability kids, like we have with cadets, keeping them interested / focussed can be a struggle for even the most experienced teacher. I’m sure you’ve been in classes at school where the teacher is a good teacher, but certain kids can’t be bothered so play up and teaching is lost. If they get too rowdy send them out for a chat with a member of staff.

The thing to do is research the subject and think of things that would keep your interest, and in researching, bring extra knowledge that stimulates debate and questions. I’ve taken 2 or 3 sessions to cover something that some cover in 1, because I’m relaxed with the situation of questioning and debate if the cadets are taking more away from it.


I have produced some resources for most of the first class subjects and they can be found here:


Although there are no videos in the History of the RAF section, there are some extra activites you can print of to keep them engaged and to check understanding. There’s also a lesson plan to tell you what to do! :slight_smile:


The biggest tip I ever took from my RAF Instructors course was not to just talk at them but to involve them and best way to do that is by asking questions and teasing the answers out of the audience or even get them to come out and write on the whiteboard themselves.

Easier said than done sometimes but you could always start by asking what they already know?

Also, I have always tried to avoid Powerpoint where possible and much prefer the whiteboard.


People find whatever method they are most comfortable with and all methods have +/-.

We’ve got and had cadets that are real whizz with PPT.

I started teaching in the ATC with chalk and blackboard, then moved to acetates for the OHP, which was a labour of love.

I’ve grown into powerpoint over the years (I started with Freelance) and the bonus I’ve found is consistent main message, although the spiel changes.

Asking questions is so hit and miss. I’m the world’s worst and won’t ask questions as I’m looking at the clock and waiting for teabreak / lunch / going home and would gladly shoot anyone asking questions.


Much better than the previous ones, but I still take issue with the statement that main instrument runways can only be used by “Large or high performance aircraft and instrument landing”.


Biggest thing is get them involved. Maximum activity as I was taught on my Weapon Inst course.

I mostly teach the leading to master subjects, But I try to keep it interesting.

Like getting 4 cadets at the front of the class when your doing pistons and getting them to act out the 4 stroke cycle and firing order. Or with Airmanship 2, I have made up green and red tabs and get them “flying” across the hall and try to see if they can remember which aircraft has right of way. Usually results in cadets colliding with eachother. Lol


It doesn’t need to be - what’s wrong with opening a subject such as Military Aircraft Systems with the question “Can anyone think of weapons that an aircraft might carry” or in a Leadership lesson asking each cadet to name a famous leader and then get them to discuss if they were a good or bad leader?