Training Teachers

I love to read advice for those who train other trainers. It’s generally somewhat humorous, and completely applicable to training new teachers. At work, the task of training new teachers in certain subjects has fallen to me (and I get to train teachers in other subjects when the directors aren’t available). It’s quite the experience. More often than not, I’m much younger than the teacher I’m training, which just triggers one of my own personal issues.  Most of these teachers also came from a classroom, where I came from a more unusual setting.

From where I sit (as the young trainer), it’s fairly intimidating.

From where the trainee sits, it’s a terrifying prospect. They’re given a basic training in how to manage our teaching method. If they’re lucky, they get an hour or two to watch a more experienced teacher (which keeps being me lately) actually teach our program, and then they’re turned loose. Many of them show fear in their first few hours of teaching, and I’ve always felt some sympathy for them. It’s tough to be thrown into a world that’s somewhat familiar while at the same time being completely foreign.

The majority of our teachers swim right on through into developing their own method for handling the situation, and they’re only too happy to share what works for them in staff meetings. It’s wonderful. Occasionally, we get one who sinks, afraid to approach the students, afraid of the recordkeeping associated with our teaching method, afraid to ask for help.

For some great tips on approaching Train-the-Trainer (or Teachers, in my case) sessions, check out this great article. Meanwhile, I have some training notes to tweak.

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