News: Teacher Training Essentials

Earlier this summer my colleague and fellow trainer with World Learning/SIT trainer Liliia and myself applied for a grant and guess what… we won! In the coming academic year (2019/20) we will be managing the program and running the course for teacher trainers in Ukraine together. The title is Teacher Training Essentials 2020. Some more information on this page

As you can see, we are at a very initial stage of preparation for the program  (don’t even have a separate site or page for it yet!). I just wanted to share the piece of news with you, and to say that some posts in the coming school year will be about teacher training and trainer training. Hope it is fine with you. 

I will be giving a short talk about the program at a Teacher Training Day in Kyiv next week. If you happen to have extra 3 minutes on your hands, could you please help me prepare for the talk by completing these sentences in the comments: 

  1. Teacher Training is __________.
  2. Teacher Trainer is NOT (necessarily) __________.
  3. (optional) Ask a question about the program based on its description. We are thinking to offer it as a handout/follow up after my talk. 

I am still figuring out the format of the talk and ‘playing’ with ways to engage the audience. Advice and ideas appreciated! 

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned!

Update on 25 November: here is our Teacher Training Space site with more information about the program, and if you scroll to the very end, you will see the Application Form. Looking forward to reading yours till 25 December 2019!

About Zhenya

ELT: teacher educator, trainer coach, reflective practice addict
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17 Responses to News: Teacher Training Essentials

  1. I’m not at all an expert on the subject, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.
    Teacher Training is based on the teachers’ experiences.
    A Teacher Trainer is NOT (necessarily) someone who *just* gives workshops at conferences.
    Out of curiosity, are you going to run your program in English? In the teachers’ local language(s)? Both?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Dear Anne
      Thank you for this reply!
      Hm, ‘not an expert’… When I was writing my responses to the same sentences, one of the lines said ‘not an expert’ (about a trainer!).
      To your question: the program is going to be in English, at least this time. There will be a post-course stage when teachers (trainers, I should say) would be creating workshop sessions for colleagues, and their choice can be to do so in L1(s).
      Hm, it’s interesting that at this point your question made me think: was this a requirement to keep English as the working language, or was it something that ‘goes without saying’ to me?
      Thank you for the conversation, as usual!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wilma Luth says:

    Zhenya, that’s wonderful news!! Really cool.

    Teacher Training is raising awareness.
    Teacher Trainer is NOT (necessarily) telling teachers how to teach.
    Question — How many essentials are there in teacher training? What are they? (😊)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Thank you Wilma! Love your replies (Yes, ‘only awareness is educable’, as Gattegno said, and I believe in this so much)
      Hm, ‘how many essentials are there in teaching training?’ is now going to be one of my ‘the’ questions to answer. At least to myself. I was usually thinking in terms of KASA, but perhaps some more concrete (essential?) elements can be specified?
      And… do you have an answer to that? I’d like to keep talking in this direction!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Irene Sushko says:

    Great news! Congratulations!
    Teacher Training is about raising awareness and becoming better at what you chose to be your profession.
    Teacher Trainer is NOT (necessarily) a guru who tells you how to teach in your classroom but rather raises the right questions.
    I think the training absolutely has to be in English. For one thing, it’s a great opportunity to practice English in a safe comfortable atmosphere (even teachers need that) and for another, it makes sense to discuss things in ELT using English. Personally, I find it very hard to talk about my job in Russian or Ukrainian.
    My question – what’s the size of the program and what will the certification look like?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Zhenya says:

      Thank you very much for the comment, support, answers and questions!
      I have exactly same feelings about L1(s) for the professional context. In fact the time when I need to speak Ukrainian or Russian about what I do it feel awkward, and I have to search for terms 🙂 Are we losing L1? (a topic for another post…)
      Now, to your questions: the program will have up to 24 people, and there will be certificates at the end of it. The exact wording is still ‘under construction’ but our partner is World Learning/SIT, and the certificate will have a mention of this of course!
      Looks like we will meet on Thursday? I see you are presenting about vocab activities for teens, and that’s one of the topics we can always learn new things/tricks/tips in.
      Thank you for this conversation, it helps me a lot (for the talk, and for the course!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kateryna Kaminska says:

    Wow! Finally read into it more carefully!
    Really hope everything works perfectly and hope to participate, too!

    The sentences for me would be:
    1. Teacher Training is helping teachers help their learners learn better 😉
    2. Teacher Trainer is NOT the one who knows all the answers. For me it’s always important to notice what a teacher does that I’d never think of, but it works well for the learner(s). And I always say, ‘Even if I disagree with what you do, but you understand and can explain why you do this, it has the right to exist’.
    3. How on- or off-line is the course going to be? At which stage is it necessary to be present personally and at which not, and where?

    Thanks! And it seems I’ll be a more active reader now with this topic 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Kateryna
      Thank you for reading and responding with your comment, and for the interest and support of the idea if course!
      Re the sentences completed, I would like to continue a conversation about this part you wrote: ‘Even if I disagree with what you do, but you understand and can explain why you do this, it has the right to exist’. I am curious about the ‘explain’ part (his/her actions? beliefs? decision-making process?)
      Now, to your question: the stage called ‘training’ is when you will need to be present in person (tentatively June 1-12, in Odessa) and the post-course parts are distant, in your location/context. Will post more details in the coming Fall (watch this space:

      Thank you once again, and till soon!


  5. Oxana Shevchenko says:

    Great news! Like I said before, Ukraine is moving in the right direction and I am glad you will be leading the way!
    Here are my thoughts about 3 Ideas you have mentioned:

    Teacher Training is the founding ground for anybody willing to work in the educational field as well as the bottomless platform for continuous growth.

    Teacher Trainer is NOT (necessarily) a person who is aware of all the world information regarding their field, neither do they have to be knowledgeable about global issues. Teacher Trainer is NOT ignorant of world changes and is NOT dogmatic, with their ideas set in stone.

    1. How big will the selected group be?
    2. If selected, what kind of input is necessary between February and June time?
    3. Location of the training?

    Thank you, Zhenya
    Once again, I am truly impressed with your desire to help teachers all around the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Dear Oxana

      Thank you for the warm words in the comment! It is truly amazing to me to know that the friends and colleagues from my ‘real life’ (offline) are joining this space. Adds motivation and responsibility for blogging 🙂
      My favorite part in your response is about ‘the bottomless platform for continuous growth’. Indeed, this is how I feel about learning about teaching (and teacher training).
      Something I would like to think and talk more about in the second sentence is about the trainer’s awareness of ‘world changes’: do you mean in the world of ELT? In general? I suddenly think it could be both (and even more?)

      Now, to your questions: #3 is covered above in my comment to Katya. The group is 24 people maximum, and in the time between February and June there are no ‘official’ activities planned (yet). Since you are the second person asking about it, I am thinking to put together a small reading list about training/working with people. If you have a favorite resource of your own, let me know please!

      Thank you once again for this conversation, and… see you very soon! 🙂


  6. Giulia says:

    Wow, congratulations! I look forward to reading about the programme on future posts!

    Here are my answers to your ‘task’:
    Teacher Training is helping teachers understand the value of professional development.
    Teacher Trainer is NOT (necessarily) evaluating, giving grades and ticking boxes.
    (optional) Ask a question about the program: what are the criteria for being accepted in the programme?
    Good luck on this new venture!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Giulia
      Thank you for the comment and warm words! It is an exciting project.
      Your point about teacher evaluation and grading (and points!) is important. In some cultures, accreditation procedures and levels, etc., turn PD into a ‘go through the motions’ kind of activity.
      Re criteria, we will be posting more details about it. The biggest ones are that the teachers come from Ukraine, and are working in its public or private sector (system). One of the big parts of the proposal was making sure that the audience is from all over Ukraine, and we have more than 20 admin regions/big cities. I think the criteria will shape themselves, depending on the people who apply (and how many, too)
      Thank you for asking this: it helps me/us see what needs to be highlighted in the program description as early as possible.

      Looking forward to your new posts, too! 🙂


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  8. Sandy Millin says:

    This sounds like a great course. Through the NILE MA Trainer Development module this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot, so I’m really interested to see how it shapes up for you. Here are my responses:
    Teacher training is only worthwhile if it’s rooted in the experience, needs and beliefs of those being trained.
    A teacher trainer is not the font of all knowledge – instead they should hold open the door to help others find out what they need to know to improve their teaching.
    My question: will the two sets of written feedback be the same each time, or will trainers experiment with different ways of doing written feedback?
    Another question from reading the comments above: what is KASA?
    Good luck!


    • Zhenya says:

      Hi Sandy
      As always, thank you for reading and responding.
      Love the door opening metaphor you shared in the response. Indeed, a short encounter with a course participant (2-6 week long, depending on a course and format) is only a chance to let them see the scope/depth of the content and process. In other words, develop their awareness (the big ‘A’ from KASA). The other three would be knowledge, skills and attitudes, as Donald Freeman suggested. A small post on this is here: (but the article is a mustread, I think)
      I wonder about your question re 2 ‘sets of written feedback’: was trying to find this in my description, or perhaps comments? At this point the major focus of the course is workshop delivering and planning skills, and peer feedback as a conversation. Depending on the readiness and experience we might look at written feedback, too (but I’d say it needs more time and space to practice)
      Can’t wait to meet and chat in person! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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