Being a trainer is a privilege. Like all privileges it comes with responsibilities.
You have a responsibility to the men and women you teach, to their families, to the men and women they will work with and their families, to their agency, and to the community they will serve to provide the highest quality training possible.
You have a responsibility to be educated on the keys to effective learning and effective teaching as well as educated in the subject matter you are teaching.
You have a responsibility to do the work to ensure the material you are teaching and the visual aides you are using are current and relevant.
You have a responsibility to be knowledgeable about other topics being taught so you can reinforce those areas during your instruction.
You have a responsibility to check your ego at the door when you walk through the door to whatever venue you will be teaching in. Teaching and training it not about you, it is about the people you have the privilege to teach and train.
You have a responsibility to create an environment most conducive to learning. Training needs to be a safe place to ask questions, make mistakes, and admit when you don’t know or don’t understand. Training needs to be engaging and encourage discussion, dialogue and debate.
You have a responsibility to teach and enhance critical thinking and decision-making. If your training is still built around the philosophy of “shut up and do what you are told” you are doing a disservice to everyone you are responsible to.
You have a responsibility to utilize proven strategies to help participants in your training learn and retain the material so they can recall and apply it in the real world they work in every day. When you implement the concepts of interleaving, desirable difficulties, effortful retrieval, reflection and spaced practice into your training it will be frustrating for the trainers and the participants. You have a responsibility to stay the course and not slide back into the old, easier ways of teaching. Explain the process to everyone and continually remind the trainers and participants to “trust the process”.
You have a responsibility to be professional at all times. You are a role model for people attending. This includes modeling and reinforcing the agency’s core values.
You have a responsibility to be a student and a practitioner of leadership. As a trainer you are in one of the most influential leadership positions in your agency.
Being a trainer is a privilege. It is a position of leadership and influence. Take your responsibilities to heart so you can best serve the men and women you have the privilege to teach, coach, train and mentor.
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