You probably have a lot of expertise and experience of teaching students and wonder if teaching and training are very different.
Clearly, you may think a good trainer – like any good teacher – knows much more about their subject than the participants they are training. This is probably true if you are asked to train student teachers on their initial training course. But perhaps less so in the case where your training participants are experienced teachers like yourself. Here is what one trainer said when asked about the similarities and differences between teaching and training: 8″It is similar and different. How I see it being different is when you do training you can switch into a different working mode. If you work with teachers as if they were students, then it’s very similar to teaching. But when you switch to re?ection mode, then you look at the things you’ve just done from the perspective of teachers and then it’s different from teaching.”So training involves shifting perspectives and modes in order to help trainee teachers and experienced teachers learn more about teaching and learning – professional learning.
Part of your role as a trainer is to facilitate such shifts. This also means that you will need to combine your classroom teaching expertise with knowledge and skills beyond teaching. You may also ?nd that the content, approaches and aims of teacher training are different from what you experienced in your initial teacher training or during in-service training. All of these factors may lead you to expand your professional identity or even develop a new one. Worksheets Teaching and training Becoming a trainer Trainer voices1.
2 Our view of teacher education The material you ?nd in this booklet strongly re?ects our own experience of how professional learning happens and of the factors that help or hinder such learning. First and foremost, our view is grounded in a view of how teachers learn, and how knowledge is created, which happens in both informal and more formal settings. This is the training world of experiential learning and re?ective practice.Articles and extracts Teacher development Starting from where they’re at Facilitator trainingAn individual teacher’s learning draws from experience. It is very much a question of immersion in experience and the ongoing construction of knowledge about what works in the classroom (and what does not). It is also social and cultural, in the sense of entering the occupational culture of teaching, and the cultures of the institutions where we work. There are also strong affective or emotional elements in teaching because teaching means forming relationships with people and working in very complex and uncertain circumstances to which we have to respond.
All of this also applies to training. 9Many of these features of informal learning may be lost in a formal educational setting, and we may have to work hard to re-create them in our training sessions. In our sessions we also need to create opportunities for teachers and student teachers to re?ect on what they do and what has happened to them in the past, and to think about new possibilities for their practices.
On the more formal training courses we contribute to in our trainer role, we are also likely to be concerned with the knowledge base of our subject – in this case languages.