The role of the trainer (Part 1)

by Niina Halvorsen
Green City

In any training program, the role of the trainer is of paramount importance for its effective delivery that will lead to the desired results for the learners. Consequently, before starting the preparation for the training course directed to migrants and displaced people in transition, the trainer should have a general understanding of the learners and what they truly need. For this reason, they are advised to reflect on the following areas:

  1. Know yourself as a learner
  2. Know your target group
  3. Know the best supporting approach
  4. Know your topic, tools and training process

Let’s explore the first area: Know yourself as a learner

A trainer may be the learning provider, but they must not forget that they are learners at the same time. Understanding themselves as a learner allows trainers to promote the concepts of empathy, continuous improvement, relatability, flexibility and adaptability, and personal growth. This ultimately enhances the effectiveness, quality and impact of the training experience for adult learners.

Empathy, that is putting themselves in the shoes of the learners, enables the trainer to understand the challenges and struggles that learners may face, leading to the creation of a supportive and inclusive learning environment that caters to the diverse needs of the learners.

Recognising themselves as a learner fosters a mindset of continuous improvement. Trainers who embrace a learning-oriented mindset are more likely to seek out new knowledge, techniques and methodologies to enhance their teaching practices. They remain open to feedback, reflect on their own learning experiences, and adapt their methods accordingly.

Closely linked to empathy, relatability helps to establish a connection between the trainer and the learners, thus creating a safe space where the learners feel comfortable sharing their own experiences and concerns. This can be achieved when the trainers share their own learning journeys, including their successes, failures, and challenges.

Since migrant learners have diverse backgrounds, knowledge & skillsets, learning styles and preferences, the trainer needs to become more flexible and adaptable in their teaching methods and approaches. This can entail experimenting with different instructional strategies, techniques, and resources to accommodate the unique needs of the learners.

Finally, recognising themselves as a learner also allows trainers to continually grow both personally and professionally. It encourages self-reflection, self-awareness and self-development. Trainers who actively engage in their own learning process are better equipped to guide and support adult learners in their quest for knowledge and skill acquisition.

Empowerneurship for Newcomers in Europe