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TCS Instructor Training General

The Technical Climbing School (TCS) aims to do more than train students how to safely negotiate technical terrain. TCS also aims to provide instructors with the materials and training they need to be effective teachers. An effective teacher not only shows students how to master the skills presented, but also deepens their own understanding of the skill and has fun while working the class.

This site deals with the general instructor framework. That is, this site talks more about how to be an effective TCS teacher in general. The teaching mechanics specific to a certain skill will be covered in the site for that class.

Ideally, instructors will have attended TCS Instructor Training classes, both General and Specialized. Attendance at the Training is not mandatory, though, because we do not want to discourage graduates from helping teach. However, instructors who have not attended the training will enter at the Apprentice level and should take their cue from instructors who have indeed attended the training.


Instructors who teach at the Apprentice level should pair up with an Instructor or Senior who can help them with details of the curriculum and pedagogical style. The Apprentice is a second pair of eyes to help keep students safe and guide them through basic skills practice. If the Apprentice is confident in demonstrating certain skills, he/she may do so under the observation of an Instructor or Senior. Otherwise, the Apprentice should observe the Instructor/Senior demonstrate the skills


The Instructor has taken the General Training and the Specialized Training for the class they are teaching. The Instructor can demonstrate skills and explain the rationale behind skills. The Instructor might also mentor an Apprentice. The Instructor might have a Senior Instructor leading a group.

Senior Instructor

The Senior Instructor has taken the TCS Training, is a Trip Leader, and has taught at least two classes. The Senior Instructor will help Instructors gain the teaching experience required to become Seniors and will help Apprentices gain the experience required to become Instructors. The Senior will likely mentor the Instructor but might also mentor an Apprentice. The Senior will organize groups of students and instructors, assigning roles to members of their group. The Senior Instructor might also be the overall Site Manager for the lecture or field day.


The Trainer will have taken more advanced education classes to help teach technical skills (e.g. AMGA SPI). The Trainer will be responsible for preparing Senior Instructors to be site managers and to teach instructor training classes.

A great benefit of instructing is that you will gain a deeper mastery of the skills you are teaching.

We also encourage everyone to consider taking a senior role. Instructors are eligible for senior status if they have taught at least two sessions of the same class and have the recomendation of a senior and are a Trip Leader.

And we encourage everyone to become Trip Leaders. We are asking leaders to lead at least one technical trip each year.

See also the Facebook page for the
Technical Climbing School
It's a closed group but we admit everyone who asks.