Tony Gurr

Posts Tagged ‘training activities’

Advice from a few “old hands”…

In Adult Educators, Teacher Training on 09/01/2012 at 3:45 pm

In my last post, I shared some resources for those of you that might be considering the “leap” into teacher training (or “educator LEARNing” – please)!

This post went down quite well – and because I have been off the “matrix” for a few days, I thought I’d follow it up with a very practical activity that all trainers can use with their “trainee teacher trainers”.

Actually, it can also be used with newer teachers, too!

I developed this activity a few years back – bit of an accident, really. I was sitting with a few “old hands” and we got chatting about the ONE peice of advice that we would give to a group of trainers-in-training. We got quite a list together – and I built on this by e-mailing a few others (who couldn’t make our “beer o’clock session” – sorry, “trainer PD session”)!


The activity is quite simple:

1. Give your trainees the list of one-liners – and review it in a group of 3 or 4.

2. Then ask them to choose the bits of advice they want to include in their own “trainer’s creedo” – you’ll be surprised how many of them want to choose all of them (don’t let them – tell them they have to choose ONLY eight)!

3. Now, choosing 8 – as a group – is nigh on impossible (they have to discard two thirds of the items). So, ask them to come up with a rationale or justification as to why the items they have selected are sooooooooooo critical!

4. When all the groups have finished – pair a couple up and ask them to share their “trainer’s creedo”. However, the trick is to try and convince members of the other group to change a few of their items – easier said than done, look at the list of items (you can modify this to include a few of your “pet” ideas, too):

  • Focus on LEARNing – not TRAINing
  • Focus on emotional intelligence, integrity and compassion
  • Develop the person, not just the skills and knowledge
  • Develop the fluency – not just the literacy
  • Ask – don’t just tell
  • Prioritise “doing” – not just learning-by-listening
  • Think about growing a person from the inside – not changing them from the outside
  • Think “knowledge co-creation” – not knowledge transfer
  • Focus on individuals – not just the group
  • Remember adults (kids, too) want the 3Rs – Real, Respect, Responsibility
  • Think activities and tasks – not “content”
  • See yourself as an educator – not simply an “edutainer”
  • Think “story-telling” and learning conversations – not mini-lectures
  • Always “walk-your-talk”
  • Trainees want challenge, collaboration and choice – always (even when they don’t know it)!
  • Use variety in your materials, activities and grouping techniques
  • Feedback, feedback, feedback…and act on it!
  • Leave the ego at the door – it’s about “them”, not “you”
  • Try to create “learning opportunities” – not just humorous sound bites
  • Build trust – before getting to attitudes, beliefs and assumptions
  • Think engagement – not just artificial impact
  • Accentuate the positives – always
  • Resist the temptation to give answers – questions, questions, questions
  • Always have faith in people’s ability to learn for themselves

5. The follow-up “assignment” is to ask individuals to draft their own “creedo” – and “live” it!


Have a go! It’s good fun…