Training of trainers – NFL and interactive methods in Youth work – ACHIEVE

Lesson 25 – Working in team of trainers – text

text lesson

(by Ognian Gadoularov)

Very often in the practice the trainer has to work (prepare, conduct and report trainings) in a team with other trainers (co-trainers). The ability to be an effective and full member of such team is one of the founding competences of each trainer.

Advantages of team work

  • Distribution of responsibilities
  • Gives opportunity for joint preparation, mutual evaluation and feedback
  • Enriches the learning of the participants with diverse expertise and experience
  • Allows exchange of skills, resources and energy between the members of the team
  • Ensures space for development of the not-so-experienced trainers

Disadvantages of team work

  • More time is used for joint preparation and feedback
  • Lack of balance in the relationship with the group (some of the colleagues can get along better with the participants)
  • Lack of balance in the relationship within the team (one of the trainers may dominate)

The ideal option is when the skills of the trainer are at a level when they allow them to work in a team with everyone, no matter of the conditions. This is a very rare skill. Consider taking my advice “Chose to work with people with values similar to yours”. When you know your team make sure that everyone participates equally in the preparation. Make sure that everyone is informed at each stage what is going on and can participate in the decision making. Make the preparations together, together decide who is going to prepare a certain session and who will lead each session. Make it in a way that there is a balanced distribution of the sessions between every one of the team – this creates a sense of equity of the trainers in the eyes of the students.

The preliminary agreement about the tasks of other trainers while one of them is leading a session is of big importance. Decide if they have to leave the hall or stay, to take part as participants or to observe, to get involved with comments or not. Choose a procedure about the cases when a member of the team wants to interrupt or comment while another one leads (ex. To support a statement with an example, to add something omitted, to share different experience, etc.)

My personal preferences while I lead a session are that my colleagues stay in the room, take notes, help me with the technical elements (materials, projector, music, etc.). They can join with comments and conclusions about the session, interrupt me or ask me to comment only when it is very important about the process and as exclusion.

The work with a co-trainer is unreplaceable tool when talking about self-improvement and development. The opportunity to have someone to observe, take notes during a training session which you lead is the most effective instrument for fast growing. You can agree in advance which elements of your performance should be observed by your colleague and you can rely completely on their experience. After the end of the day make team meetings and discuss your notes and observations. Follow the rules for feedback and effective communication. Help each other with the best feelings of friendship. Plan your future session having in mind the comments discussed.

 

The training program “Training of Trainers” is an educational product that is currently missing in the partner countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania. Due to the early stage of development of the youth sector and youth work in these countries the educational materials aimed at non-formal learning are still limited and insufficient. The lack of adequate educational framework for training of youth workers in the field of formal education leads to inefficient use of the capacity of professionals.

This course fills a gap in the youth sector, namely the need of methodologies for the preparation of trainers, who are able to train youth workers. This course will set the basis for the preparation of teams of trainers of youth workers. The course will serve the goal of development of youth work in the participating countries and other interested parties. A large number of youth workers can be trained according to the methodology at national and international level to use and promote non-formal learning as a tool to enhance the realization of young people in the labor market and increase their social cohesion.

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