Jerry Shannon Jr.

What is your background in the industry?

I started in January of 1992. I was hired as an installation trainee. I became a lead technician in July of that year. I voraciously began to study and self-instruct, through books and hands on. I enjoyed meeting other technicians and learning from them.

I attended NBFAA Level 1 in Raleigh, NC. in April of 1993, when overhead projectors were still being used. This course convinced me to make this my lifelong career. I credit the excellent instructors of that class with motivating me to not just make that my last class, but to seek out other opportunities to learn.

I moved to Nashville in 1995, and worked my way up to Operations Manager, however instruction was my desire. Several companies later, I am a Training Specialist. I get the opportunity to travel, attend events, interact with other professionals, and continue to learn. I love the field of instruction, especially when you see their eyes light up and true understanding take place.

What would you consider to be your specific area of expertise?

I geared most of my career toward service work because I love to solve problems. I really enjoyed being able to interact with customers, hear their concerns, and their frustrations, and after taking the time to find the problem, through application of what I have learned, both in class and hands on, to be able to present a solution to the customer. I enjoyed knowing I had solved a problem, and make a customer glad they chose the company I worked for as their security provider.

I am currently certified as Level 1, Level 2, Level 2 Fire Alarm Technician, Residential Fire Alarm Inspector, and Certified System Integrator. I am also a Certified Senior Instructor, and that truly is my passion.

Why have you invested your time in being a NTS Instructor?

Instruction is more than just teaching. Investing time as an instructor involves preparation, learning the material thoroughly, becoming the best expert in the field that you can, and being able to present the material in a manner that can be learned from. Different classes require different techniques. The ability to instruct is a talent that may start out raw, but with proper guidance, continued education, frequent opportunities, and constructive feedback, a good instructor can get better.

I enjoy representing the NTS as an instructor, meeting other more senior instructors, and learning from their expertise. There are instructional leaders that I will never be as good as, but I will continue to strive and invest in myself.

What does it mean to you to teach others your craft?

Teaching must be a passion. You either have it or you don't. There are people who can give out information, and there are teachers. Teaching in this profession requires an intense love of the craft. You must realize that the students before you, want to learn. They have chosen this as their profession, and look to the teacher to help them move their career along, but giving them the tools to work with. As the industry and craft expands, evolves, and grows, so must we as teachers. Today's technician is usually smarter than we were, more gifted in assimilating information, and normally quicker to pick up on what we teach. We must strive to keep pace with them.

There is no feeling greater in the teaching profession than to learn new information, collate it into understandable thought, and then give that to someone who desperately want to learn. That is a great reason to get up each day.