Germany // Training Course “Train the trainers – It’s up to me 2” in Diepenau

NaturKultur e.V. Germany has organized the second edition of the train the trainers course “It’s up to me 2” that was held in Diepenau from 5-13th of March, 2015. There were in total 42 participants, trainers and organizers from 7 different counteries – Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Estonia, Czech Republic, Croatia and Germany. The project was financed from Erasmus + program trough the German National Agency. It was a really intense training from several points of view, and the participants had really quality time filled with learning outcomes. The training had several main goals:

– Know-how – To provide the participants with information on how some things are done, why some things are done in particular way – many of the workshops were showcased to the participants so they would see how the trainers team is organized, how do we communicate during the sessions between ourselves, how do we prepare for each session, they had the opportunity to see 4 extremely competent and experienced trainers that come from different backgrounds, that have different styles and often quite different approach in reaching the same goal. All of this was an added value for the participants and one of the key learning points.

– Improve participants soft skills such as public speaking, presentation skills, debating skills, listening skills etc – we have designed soft skills sessions for the participants in very practical terms – essence of the topic in not more than 30 minutes i.e. public speaking. They they are given a random topic that they have 5 minutes to prepare to give 3 minutes speech in a small group. After the make the speech, they receive feedback from the trainer about good/bad sides and improvements to make. Before the trainer gives the feedback, the other participants in the group do it, since that is how they are sharpening their senses for self improvement. On the end they have the opportunity to do it again, and in front of a larger group.

– Provide tools for delivery of workshops – such as simulations, team building games, brainstorming, creating learning environment, creative environment etc – we have showcased so many different tools, but also the participants contributed with many tools, so we believe that we covered around 60 different tools for delivery of workshops in non-formal way. From theater of the oppressed, to simulations, debating workshops, creative idea development, non-verbal communication workshops…but also other tools that create learning environment and make the people comfortable (like no internet, being in a middle of nowhere so the participants have to interact, having joint duties like helping in the kitchen etc). On the end of the project the participants have all delivered a concrete workshop on specific topic and they received feedback from the trainers about the tools that they used, the approach they had, the dynamics that they created etc.

– Provide hard copy materials (guidebooks and written materials) – all the workshops, session outline, movies, books, power point presentations, everything was uploaded on Google drive where the participants can download, upload and develop more materials.

– Provide coaching and mentoring for them. It is important for you to understand which things can they improve and realize this with the  guidance of the trainers. – the trainers were there for the participants from 9 in the morning till 12 on midnight. They were available all the time for informal discussions, for feedback, for opinions for everything. During the sessions they were guiding the participants, providing them concrete feedback and helping them to find their own way. In the evenings we had regular reflection groups where we were talking about the experiences and the learning they got, providing them space to capture their learning.