I’m pleased to say that I’ve just completed the Cambridge Train the Trainer course, run fully online by Anatolia training Institute. I absolutely  loved it and received excellent support from my tutors Simon Phipps and Suzan Özgelen Yılmaz. The content was varied and engaging, including videos, pdf files and links to further reading. I’ve learned so much about training and become more aware of my weaknesses and how to overcome them! So if you’re looking for an online TtT course, I definitely recommend ATI.

During the course..

-we completed a good number of individual tasks ,as well as some collaborative ones, done in pairs and groups.

-there were plenty of opportunities to reflect in each unit.

-I had the pleasure of evaluating my peers’ work and getting their useful feedback on mine.

-we met on Zoom every week, to share experiences and pick our tutors’ brains. Participation was optional but I enjoyed these meetings so much, that I didn’t miss a single one, although I was always busy planning the lesson jams. The sessions were exceptionally planned and materials such as handouts and presentations were forwarded to us afterwards.

Takeaways

I won’t go into detail about what I’ve learned, but I WILL tell you some of the questions this course helped me answer. I’ll also share some of my peers’ and tutors’ notes and reflections; their contributions in this wonderful learning journey were invaluable!

My key takeaway

Every aspect of what we do can be planned and reflected on. At first this can be conscious but as we gain more experience in time it can be more subconscious.

Simon Phipps
Questions and some answers 🙂

1.What do you think about reflecting on learning? 

Metin:For me, reflective teaching is a magical method of self-improvement a teacher can acquire, use, and improve with some guidance.

Rachel: Reflection and professional development go hand in hand. Jason Anderson wrote that reflecting can mean looking at oneself (reflexivity )or looking back in time, (retrospectivity). The two questions asked, are different. Who am I? versus What happened? Combining the two, ensures a better outcome. He mentions these 3 features of reflection:.

1.Stimulus: Personal experience. I haven’t had any practical experience yet on the course, so the stimulus is thinking about my past training experiences.


2. The process: the conscious, evaluative, and critical consideration of one’s practices/beliefs. For me, this is what we all do here, together. The intrapersonal combined with dialogic reflection. We are all Speakers and Understanders. I enjoy it a lot, I feel I gain much more this way, than doing it internally.

3. The expected outcome of reflection, what you’ve learned and how you’ve changed through this process. 

Fernanda: Walsh and Mann state that one possible pitfall of reflection is when it’s too problem-oriented, which may lead to feelings of incompetence.

2. Is teaching and training similar or different? How?

3. Which types of input do you use in your training sessions?

4. How many can you actually list?

5. What are their similarities and differences?

Rania: Honestly, I think that all input types are very useful, but the trick is to choose the ones that suit the context of the session more than the other types.

Hatice: I would like to try all different types of input, and then decide on which works best for me and the trainees. I think this is a journey where we find our own style and introducing input is a part of it

6.What makes a good training session?

Emine:I need to consider different aspects of the training session and plan accordingly. It is quite beneficial to use an evaluation checklist to see the missing parts in the session plan and improve it before the session.

7. Which formats for designing, planning and delivering teacher training sessions are you familiar with?

8. What do you think are the benefits of each approach?

9. Which task formats do you use in training sessions?

10. What is supportive trainer talk?

Suzan: I personally find it really useful to script my own instructions and include them in my session plans. Having a written record also helps me reflect on this later on.

Rania: I’ve learnt that trainer talk is one of the pillars of conducting a successful session.

Lina: It has to be planned, especially if you’re an emerging teacher trainer. 

11. Do you meet with teachers for pre-observation discussions? Is there a specific framework you follow in the discussion?

12. What can trainers do to make observations less stressful? 

13. Why is feedback important? What are the key purposes of giving feedback?

 Metin: I believe that feedback is definitely the breakfast of champions, as Rick Tate once said. 🙂

14. How many approaches to giving feedback are there ? Which one do you prefer/use?

Hatice: Thinking about which style to use helped me notice what kind of a teacher trainer I would like to be.

Metin: I also realised that observation and feedback are quite structured processes, learning about various structures, variables, and methods can make us a trainer who is ready to carry out observations in different contexts. 🙂

Lina: I now understand better why my observers were choosing to deliver feedback the way they did.

15. Which framework do you follow in post observation discussions? Why?

16. What makes good oral and written feedback?

Rania: I believe giving feedback is one of the core skills of a trainer. This week’s work allowed me to have insight on the impact of the language used when giving feedback to teachers.

17. What do you consider when planning a training course?

18. How can you evaluate the course plan?

Metin: One thing I’ve learnt about course planning this week is that it is vital, just as in session planning, to think about the balance of what the trainer and the participants will do throughout the course during the planning stage.

19. How can you develop as a trainer?

Fernanda: One thing I’ve learnt about professional development is that there’s a framework to guide us and that we can set goals to improve.

20. What qualities do trainers need? Here’s what we said!

And here are some reflections I tweeted anyway, so I can share them here too:

#TTTcoursereflections – Twitter Search / Twitter

Finally..

Jim Fuller has written 8 insightful posts about his Train the Trainer course experience which I really enjoyed reading. You can start with his Week 1 reflections here and then keep reading until you reach week 8! They’re all great, I promise!

I look forward to working as a teacher trainer so I can practise what I’ve learned!

References:

The difficulty of defining reflection – Jason Anderson – teacher educator, author & researcher (wordpress.com)

Cambridge Train the Trainer – Week 1 (And an update!) – Sponge ELT (wordpress.com)