Teacher Training: One of the Best Ways of Self-development

-Parista Rai

Since the day I joined M.Ed. ELT program, it was my dream to be an ELT trainer and fortunately for me, it came true recently. As a part of Teacher’s Development course, I conducted training sessions in Janakpur and Tanahun in July and although it was my first experience of delivering training, I gained tremendous knowledge and experience. I experienced that conducting a teacher training session is a very challenging job where a trainer has to manage everything for the sake of in-service teachers’ satisfaction. In this article, I am very glad to share my experience.

I had heard about ELT teachers’ training before getting enrolled in Kathmandu University but when I got an opportunity to be a part of the ELT program here, I learnt many things related to English language teaching, learning and training. I neither had experience of a trainer nor a trainee but once when I got a chance to attend an in-service teacher training delivered by our seniors, I got many ideas about the teacher training and started dreaming to be a trainer. And at the same time, I became more interested in teaching and learning English as a foreign language.

I had been learning teacher development course in ELT in my regular class but I did not realize the real meaning of the training until I delivered the training for the in-service English teachers. On June 20-21, my team of ELT 4th semester organized a two day teacher training in Janakpur. It was my pleasure to be there as a trainer where I found myself as a successful English language teacher trainer for two days. As a trainer, I had to be well prepared, had to be familiar with the needs of the teachers, context, and the entire program. I had to commit myself as a more responsible trainer at the time of handling the entire phenomenon. As a result, I developed my self-confidence, gained knowledge on what activity should be prepared and how to put into practice, how to meet the teachers’ needs, deal with complicated situations, manner of delivering, way of communicating with the trainees, and so on. I was really pleased to work with those active participants.

I had the session on teaching English vocabulary using games so, in the beginning I was little worried about it because it was not an easy work to deliver the session to over 50 participants. But later the participants found it was an interesting session. And their satisfaction was my great learning. I developed the skill of managing the large classroom and equally, learnt how to handle the unexpected situation. Interestingly, when I reflected on my training delivery, I found myself as a devoted teacher who can handle any kind of circumstances and can satisfy the participants’ needs in any cost. So, I realized that the teacher training is one of the best ways of developing ourselves as an English teacher and a trainer.

As I was very willing to be a trainer, it was my good fortune to get another opportunity to deliver the teacher training at Damauli, Tanahun where I became able to sharpen my skills and explored many things like teachers always love to be involved in multiple activities. They value their self-respect. They love collaborative work rather than individual. In the same way, I was feeling lucky to be in the new place with new trainees where I got a chance to develop my self-esteem, attitudes, thoughts, feelings and my professionalism as an English teacher. I experienced the responsibilities of the trainer. In fact, I became more experienced trainer in the field of English language teaching and gained experiential learning. Definitely, I realized that a trainer is more responsible for the transference of the teaching methods rather than the teachers because if a trainer does not provide practical and updated teaching techniques, the teaching method can’t be transferred to the classroom and remains the same as always. Because of all the aforementioned reasons, I came to know that the teacher training helps to grow the self-development of a trainer.

Undoubtedly, the teacher training experience I acquired in two different places made me realize that I have now developed a different perspective towards ELT. I used to think that teaching English is simply going to the classroom and lecturing to the students based on the textbooks because I grew up in the same environment before I came to KU. But after joining KU and delivering the teacher training, I realized that teaching is beyond the textbook’s content. So when the training was successfully accomplished, I found a change in me, developed my self-knowledge, learnt from outside of the classroom, developed the skill of planning and implementation of the activities, experienced the way of expressing ideas and so forth. Now, teaching English is my passion and I am more interested and encouraged to be an ELT teacher and trainer in the days to come. When I think about the teacher training, my heart fills with a kind of excitement, happiness and eagerness to be a committed ELT trainer and teacher.

Training is just for the in-service teachers – this was the idea that had always been rooted in my mind. But when I developed and grew as an ELT teacher trainer after the accomplishment of the two-day English language teacher training, I understood that ELT training is not just for the teachers whose job is to teach English in the classroom. Rather, it is one of the most important ways of self-development for the English language teacher, or trainers. It is an opportunity to increase one’s self-skills as well as the professionalism as an English language teacher and trainer as I experienced through the delivering of ELT training in two different places at the same time.

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Parista Rai

M.Ed. ELT, Kathmandu University

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