Trainers: Collaboration or Competition?

I would like to try something I have never done before: creating and publishing a paragraph-style note here in order to ‘catch’ the idea.

April is Conference season, and I following #iatefl2018 on Twitter. Have just seen this tweet from Fiona Price:

Trainer CPD Tweet

Something that has been on my mind lately is trainer collaboration/cooperation: have seen and heard comments from my PLN  that training is competitive, and that it is much less likely to see trainers/educators sharing ideas and insights than, say, teachers. Also, it is hard to find the time and space for face-to-face meetings or sessions (events like the forum at IATEFL)

I wrote about some ideas on this here and here, and am still hoping to have Trainer Round Table discussions happening in Ukraine on a regular basis. We have had two so far, the third one is planned for August 2018.

So… collaboration or competition? How is ‘training’ different from teaching in terms of the need for CPD, resources, ideas, professional friendships (critical friends), etc.? I wonder if #CELTAchat** on Twitter is popular because you can be in touch with the colleagues you don’t know, and this feels safer. I love the idea of this chat, often read the summaries, always want to join (and will, I know!)

What could some reasons be for not wanting to share? Are we ‘holding a crown’ and are afraid to admit that there are areas where we don’t know something? To ask each other questions? Or… am I wrong and there is lots of cooperation and collaboration among trainers, and I need to start noticing and joining?

Thank you for reading! 🙂


**part of the reason I am not joining is that I am not a CELTA trainer, and lots of ideas discussed are very connected with the 4-week intensive courses. By ‘trainers’ in this post I mean teacher educators helping teachers (as academic managers/leaders, presenters, workshop organizers, etc.)

About Zhenya

ELT: teacher educator, trainer coach, reflective practice addict
This entry was posted in Trainer Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Trainers: Collaboration or Competition?

  1. Sandy Millin says:

    I think it’s starting to become more and more common, especially among trainers on CELTA/Delta courses, but in the wider community it’s starting too. Am working on a new ELT Playbook for teacher trainers, which might actually help with this (I hope!) I feel like part of the problem is that trainers tend to be more isolated than teachers – there are fewer of us in any one place at any one time. And I was participating in #CELTAchat about 15 minutes ago, and finding it pretty useful, and not just for 4-week courses (of which I only do one a year) Hope to see you there at some point in the future!


    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Sandy
      Thank you for reading and leaving your comment! I was actually hoping to hear from you as someone very actively contributing to the learning community in ELT, at all levels.
      Yes, a very good point that there are simply fewer trainers/educators, and in the hot season (e.g. summer) it is super hard to find any free time for a get-together. I wrote the post after I noticed that there is a Forum on CPD for trainers at IATEFL.

      I’d say that inside a certain course the level of cooperation is higher (after all, one day you may co-train on a program together!) I can say the same is true for the WL/SIT TESOL Cert courses I deliver. In fact there is a range of courses, not just the ‘standard/6-hour Practice Teaching’ set, and this requires a different mindset from trainers, and another level of getting into the context.

      I should definitely join the #CELTAchat on Twitter. Thank you for the encouragement, and for this conversation! Blogging is definitely my ‘Trainer CPD’ zone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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