Becoming a teacher trainer is something that many teachers look to do once they have have been teaching for a while and are looking for a challenge, a way to continue their development.  

The word ‘teacher trainer’ brings to mind CELTA courses and Delta courses but there are plenty of things you can do before making that leap, which might perhaps help you make it more successfully:

  1. Be critical of your own teaching: By this I don’t necessarily mean criticise it ruthlessly. Being critical means to apply criteria to something. Choose aspects of your teaching, for example your instructions, and subject it to scrutiny. You could record (audio or video) yourself and then play back the recording. Consider what you did and how the learners responded. Think about how you could improve on it.
  2. Experiment with different techniques: Part of being a good teacher trainer is having at your fingertips a range of techniques that you can pass onto your trainees. One way to build up your repertoire would be to work with a book like Jim Scrivener’s Classroom Management Techniques. Aim to try a new technique out each week (or more often if you are able). Be aware of the impact it has on the students you use it with and the lesson you use it in.
  3. Look for opportunities to teach teachers: Lots of schools have in-house training programmes where teachers are welcome to give workshops to their colleagues. Delivering a workshop in this setting is a good way to dip your toes in the water. Use each workshop as a learning opportunity by reflecting beforehand on what you want to achieve and considering afterwards what went well and what could be improved upon. (A book such as A Practical Introduction to Teacher Training in ELT by John Huges could be a useful tool as you navigate these new waters of teaching fellow teachers rather than learners.)
  4. Attend conferences: This has two strands of potential learning – firstly, at many conferences you will find sessions that focus on various aspects of teacher training. Attending these gives you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of this area of expertise. Secondly, submit your own speaker proposal. Regardless of the topic, doing a talk or workhop at a conference can help build your confidence and develop your ability to share your ideas with other teachers.
  5. Log your progress: As you engage with the ideas listed above, keep a reflective journal charting your progress. This could be an online blog or a notebook, whatever you feel most comfortable with. Writing critically in this way will help you maximise what you take away from your analysis of your teaching, your experimentation with various techniques, the workshops you deliver to colleagues and your experiences at conferences, both as a participant and as a speaker.

Hopefully, by following the above steps, when the opportunity arises to be trained up as a CELTA tutor or Cert TESOL tutor, you will be ready to hit the ground running. Good luck!


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