I am an educator. I am very proud to call myself that. I have worked in training and education for 10 years. I have seen it from many different angles and they aren’t all pretty. But watching the lightbulb turn on and seeing someone “get it” is a truly beautiful thing.

Education involves the imparting of knowledge. Could be teaching a child to read or it could be teaching a grown adult to use a stamping machine. It is assisting someone to get to a new place in their life and that’s a pretty cool thing.

But I feel compelled to point out that those who stand in front of a group of people and talk from a power point is not necessarily teaching or training. When I step before a group of people at a training session, not only am I about to impart some new information, but I am also going to put it into a context that will help them understand it. I am going to embrace my responsibility to the learners in that group to help them understand the information and review it with them. Otherwise, what is the difference between me and a book, or reading that power point on their own?

Whether we are teaching second grade or working with a group of accountants learning some new software, we realize our responsibility to our audience. Incidentally, those of you who are working with second graders or anyone else within our school systems, you truly are the rock stars and you have my ut-most respect. I will take the group of accountants any day over a group of kids. Back to my soap box, what differentiates us from presenters is that it is not a one sided experience. There is interaction. There is involvement on both sides. We prepare for our interactions and we analyze the process to see what we can do better. We continually strive to help the learner retain the information quicker and more efficiently.

I am sure that we have all seen someone trying to call themselves trainers when they are really just presenters and I would be willing to bet that it sounds like nails on the chalkboard when you hear it. Someone recently said that to me and I couldn’t help but get a little indignant towards this person.  I once mentioned the silly notion that people learn in different ways and the importance of addressing those ways and this person looked at me like I had just grown a third eye.

I am very proud to be a trainer. I take it very seriously. Its not about the glory and the money because there isn’t much, it’s about watching for the light bulb to turn on.