Why I do what I do

August 2017

1I believe that when people are adequately equipped to do what is expected of them, they make better use of their time, feel better about themselves, and are less stressed.

In that context, training is every bit as important a part of equipping people as is providing the necessary hardware to do the job in hand.

I also believe, and not I hope in an arrogant way, that I’m pretty good at what I do. I’ve been doing it for a long time now, and I’ve had enough positive feedback to make me feel confident that I do it well.

I have to confess though, to feeling slightly cynical about a forum for trainers that I came across recently in which people were asked to give their top tips about what makes a good training course. Having read through some of the suggestions, I came to the conclusion that if you have to ask that question in the first place, you’re probably not doing it right.

And I’m even more cynical about people with no training credentials themselves but who have read the “current thinking around good practice” and who claim to know best how training should be delivered.  On one occasion years ago, I turned up at a customer site to deliver a training course for a bank, and after a few minutes chatting with the Training Manager there, my course was cancelled before it even started because the way I planned on delivering it didn’t tick all her boxes.

I trained as a secondary level teacher and taught in a comprehensive school for almost ten years and I consider that time to have been my extended training, where the pupils put me through my paces and taught me some very important lessons about teaching.

I think the most important thing they taught me was that respect has to be earned and is not given as a right.

And the second most important thing they taught me was that what I teach has to be relevant and interesting. If I couldn’t be enthusiastic about what I was teaching, how could I expect them to be enthusiastic about learning it? Fair point.

I’ve tried to apply those lessons to the development and delivery of the courses I offer at PPA. I hope my teacher training and teaching experience provides the kind of learning experience for adults on my training courses that my younger pupils would have enjoyed.

And the reason why I do all this? It makes me feel good to know that I’ve done something positive to make your life a bit easier. And if I feel good, some of that is going to rub off on you.

If you want to feel better about yourself, check out my courses here.

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