It didn’t take long to realize- again- that I had no idea how to be a teacher. So I just decided to make it up. I did have many examples of teachers, and I decided to write down what I knew from them and then try to replicate the best parts… once I had students.
Sgar was first, and his teaching style was to make me do something on my own until it was satisfactory. He would correct problems with my form as necessary and he pushed me to my physical limits. It wasn’t a bad example to go by for any sort of weapons training.
Next was probably actually Ruslan. His style was most… straightforward. Instead of an in-depth teaching style, he just made sure I was physically capable of performing to his standards- which apparently I barely was- and then showed one spectacular example of the correct way to do Piercing Spear. Then he had more passively taught me to generalize to Piercing Throw- I imagine he had some intention for how that dunk tank worked. Or maybe he just did it that way because it had to be technically possible and he wanted it to be as hard as possible for people to dunk him. Even so, by going from an initial technique and using it to solve a problem to learn something more general, he had still taught me something important. His style probably wouldn’t work that well for all learners though.
I’d also learned from various others- a number of weapon masters, and even my own party members. Overall, they had a simple instructive style… though Kasner wasn’t much good at teaching. At least, he emphasized feelings he couldn’t exactly verbalize over clear instructions. That was perhaps expected of a Sorcerer though. Maybe that would work for some people.
Then there was Khyrmin. While she might have seemed to do something similar to the weapon masters, she emphasized repetition during which she guided me to respond the way she intended. There was very little actual instruction, just grueling drills. It worked, but it seemed like it would be hard to pull off unless I could precisely face off against whoever I was teaching. Then again, maybe I could replicate a little bit of that with Martial Trance, carefully watching what was happening… even if it was cheating.
The result was that there were all sorts of teaching methods, and I doubted any of them work work perfectly for everyone. So, once we got students we would have to figure it out. At least I wouldn’t be the only one.
Perhaps a hundred students was too ambitious for a start, and it took longer than that to find people anyway. Sure, we might have been able to draw in numbers by just advertising there was free room and board for a month but that wouldn’t get what we wanted. Our first student was Sophie Ayers, the (former) prostitute that had sparked everything. She brought along with her several more women and a couple of young men… and then through them a handful of street urchins. That was exactly the sort of thing I had signed up for but as I looked over them I realized how much work it would be.
Of course, if they didn’t need our help, there would be no point. There was just a lot to do. Most of them didn’t know how to read- or not well- and they weren’t much on math either. Everyone could count, to varying degrees of speed, but not always to high numbers. Realistically, none of them would have had to work with more than a hundred of any sort of coin or anything else anyway.
The positives of the first group of trainees was that they were all willing to learn. That was the most important qualifier. This wasn’t just a chance to sleep off the streets and get food every day- though they all needed that. Especially some of the urchins. There was one little halfling boy who was not only young but malnourished, and he barely came above my knee.
We had scrounged up enough beds to put in the big dormitory- currently just one room cut in half to divide men and women. The mattresses were cheap and put on cheap frames as well, but there wasn’t a single complaint about those or the food.
As for the actual teaching part… everyone participated in the same activities for the first week at least. That included exercise, mostly basic things like running a few laps around the training yard and swinging training swords- which were actually just equally sized pieces of wood. There was reading and writing, the latter of which mostly involved writing in the dirt. Paper and ink hadn’t been in my earlier estimates, and it was taking a bit of effort to get an affordable supply of them. We also went over the basics of every type of magic and things like trap awareness. Halette even had everyone start learning about animals- all of hers were well behaved enough to not cause trouble, but smart enough to pretend to snap at people if they weren’t careful in how they touched them. Carlos backed up into one woman who walked about behind him, which gave Halette an opportunity to point out how much it would have hurt if she got kicked.
In the second week, we left three days open for people to start to pick their specialties, what they wanted more training in. On Friday in particular we brought in guest teachers including a few people teaching various sorts of crafting. Everyone dealt with what made the most sense for them to do, and fortunately we had multiple teachers for everything. For magic, Kantrilla could cover healing and Kasner could cover the more offensive types. Alhorn was covering Light as well, which we were making everyone learn. Alhorn also covered melee training with me. Halette, Alhorn, and I covered archery together, though we didn’t need more than one teacher at a time with the few bows and targets we had available. I could also teach the very basics on any particular area so I worked with those who couldn’t even manage to, for example, form a spark or a tiny speck of light.
At the end of the second week, we were ready for our first excursion, planned to be every Saturday- one full day of rest would be enough for people. We worked everyone hard though we were still working out their limits. Even so nobody seemed upset at the effort, at least not enough to speak up. That was good, because if they complained I was happy to tell them they could leave.