AD - Recognition - Levels

John F. Hirling macfergus at
Thu Apr 22 06:18:30 PDT 1999

When the subject of levels first came up, I was dead set against them.  My
fear was that they would be used as political tools for exerting influence
and control rather than solely for forwarding the purposes of the guild.

I now favor some sort of ability or competence recognition for instructors
for two reasons:
1) they encourage improvement; and
2) they permit the guild to quickly identify to others (e. g. event stewards
seeking teachers, individuals seeking to begin local guilds) persons who we
believe to be best able to help.
Both of those reasons are in keeping with the guild purposes.  (BTW, I'm not
opposed to recognition of performance ability - but I'd rather leave that to
others who might be better able to develop criteria and rationale.  My
thoughts and energies in this area have been primarily concerned with

The question for me was how to accomplish the rationale without my fears
becoming reality.  The keys, I believe, are
a. in the desire to have as many "top level" instructors as can qualify
(i.e. the higher levels are non-exclusive and unlimited in numbers of
qualified members) and
b. in involving as many people in the process as possible.

Thus, I would propose the following.
1) no requirement for being a member of the guild other than assent to its
2) a novice level for instructors upon recommendation by a local MoA&S,
dance principal, Seneschal, guild member - the novice level should be just
that - a very low threshold;
3) an intermediate level upon an affirmative vote of guild members voting
(simple majority of those present);
4) an advanced level upon an affirmative vote of guild members voting (two
thirds of those present);
5) published opportunities (at least quarterly [at guild meetings?]) for
members to apply for the next level.

I've left the specific requirements for levels open at this time, because I
agree that we should decide "whether" before "what".

I recommend that all guild members have an equal voice in determining the
capability level of instructors.  "Joe and Jane
Dancer" are competent to vote on the teaching abilities of an applicant.
They may not have the same knowledge of the dances as advanced dancers have,
but they certainly know whether the applicant has been able to teach them a
dance.  If someone has a serious problem with technique or accuracy, let
that person bring it up in discussion. (This also addresses the people who
initially apply for a level because each of us will have a vote. [An aside -
I recommend that none of us apply for any level until after we are chartered
so we present the charter to the crown as a company of equals]).

Abstentions are not counted.  If a member is going to render a negative
vote, that member must specify in writing his or her reasons so that the
applicant can correct the problem before the next opportunity to quality.
That affirms our desires to aid in the improvement of instructors and to
include all competent instructors at every level.


John F. Hirling, 20th century cleric and all around good guy --
skypilotpcusa at
ihon vinson macfergus, 15th century lowland Scot, and all around good guy --
macfergus at

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