Post by Casmir Anya
What Makes a Worthy Master Trainer Candidate?
In a nutshell, master trainers train the trainers. I am privileged to serve as a master trainer for the Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF), and have a lot to share about my experience, including tips for fellow master trainers and some notes on personal growth and challenges.
A worthy master trainer candidate is someone who is skillful, knowledgeable and competent in delivering content to audience. One of the most important qualities of a master trainer is an incredible drive to educate others. I also look for someone who is an excellent communicator—meaning they can hold an audience’s attention for a number of hours. They also understand nuances within the audience, such as level of education and cultural differences, including language, in order to communicate effectively.
In addition to being a great speaker and having an unyielding desire to serve others by providing a quality education, master trainers must also must truly believe in what they teach. They should be completely and authentically invested in the programs they offer and believe confidently that there is no one else better to teach these specific techniques to others.
Master Trainers for YTF: Tips from My Experience
AUDIENCE. Understanding an organization’s target training audience and your ability to work with them is key. I’ve discovered I fit right in with YTF’s core audiences. I feel excited around young people, and I love teaching women because I’ve found they are good listeners.
EMPATHY. I also know learning is not always easy, especially learning a new course. I make empathy my mantra whenever I’m teaching. I put myself in the shoes of my audience.
MATCHING PACE. Some teachers make false assumptions about their students or even exhibit impatience. I choose instead to show great willingness to compliment slow progress and refrain from anger when mistakes are made. This includes repeating instructions, breaking down a task into small units and allowing time for learners to try things out. It is far better to move slowly and attain complete mastery, than to push for rapid and sloppy completion.
POSITIVITY. While training people in customer relations, my best advice is to always smile, especially when they see customers. Even if they don’t feel like smiling, I encourage them to keep smiling. I chose to apply the same formula in the classroom setting as a trainer. I have resolved to keep a “humor is the word” philosophy since becoming a master trainer in YTF. A sense of humor while teaching makes the listener feel comfortable in raising questions, reinterpreting instructions and generally to feel relaxed while they learn.
Another important aspect of becoming a master trainer is to understand both the career advantages and challenges that come with such a coveted role. Being a master trainer in YTF has helped me establish new connections and ultimately create new work opportunities. This great opportunity with YTF has changed my mindset toward the challenges of life. For instance, I now work to provide solutions for issues in my community instead of sitting back and waiting for government.
I’ve learned teaching is really learning, an aspect I’ve come to value and look forward to as part of my instruction. For instance, in the course of training youths on the Project 3E platform, I was exposed to the world of entrepreneurship and become more conscious of my immediate environment. While brainstorming with my students, we were able to critically examine the problems and challenges of our immediate environment, which helped the participants develop solutions.
I’ve been thrilled to learn that master trainers are not only great educators, but also serve as mentors and guides. A master trainer’s job doesn’t stop at the end of training, as he or she will continue to communicate with trainees as they move forward along their own personal paths.
Most importantly, serving as a master trainer can also help individuals identify another way in which to grow and thrive in a field they are truly passionate about, doing the kind of work that they absolutely love.
Being a master trainer has not only helped me stay connected on a professional level – it’s also allowed me to truly live my purpose.
I will remain grateful to YTF for activating the inert potentials of teaching in me. In fact, my friends and my audience also call me “a born teacher.” Wow! I’m fulfilled being a master trainer in YTF.
My Challenges as a Master Trainer
While doing what you love offers a wealth of benefits both personally and professionally, it’s not without its challenges. Scheduling and lack of time are two of the most common challenges I face as a master trainer. Combining my job in YTF and working on degree is certainly an uphill climb. Constant travel is very of a personal life, and sometimes I end up sacrificing many academic schedules to get the best for YTF. It is really rewarding and at the same time can be painful.
Interacting with a wide variety of personalities, including those with strong opinions, can also prove challenging. The key to keeping training on track is to not involve your own emotions, and to instead create a space for people to learn and grow while encouraging them to maintain an open mind for the duration of the course.
I recommend only pursuing becoming a master trainer if giving back, helping others and working to ensure the industry is moving forward in the right direction are your passions. This certainly isn’t about making money, considering the amount of time spent preparing for, traveling to and teaching each course. At the end of the day, we do this work for the love of teaching and to know that we are leaving the society better than we met it.
Casmir Anyaegbu is a Master Trainer with YTF in Nigeria. Prior to joining YTF a little over a year ago, Casmir was an entrepreneur. Casmir also is a graduate of YTF Academy and completed his Masters in Agricultural Economics at Imo State University. He is passionate about teaching and inspiring others.