This might seem a bit self-serving, but today is my birthday! In thinking about what I would like to get for my birthday, a few things came to mind. I thought that I would post some here that relate to corporate training. Let me know if you can think of any ways to help me with my wishes!
1. Not all that long ago, I heard a friend of mine say that she looks forward to the day when students are more exhausted by the end of a class than she was. I can completely relate to this sentiment. I would love for my classes to become so engaging that the students are completely spent—in a good way—by the end of the session.
2. I would like all of the participants in my training programs to understand that homework and reading should be like full-contact sports. The more they actively engage with this material, the more they will get from the training sessions. The pervasive belief that participants need to know only what is tested should change. Learning should be done for the joy of learning!
3. Participants, colleagues, managers, administrators, and friends need to realize that the amount of time I spend in the classroom represents only a fraction of my work. The amount of time I spend preparing for my classes and providing feedback to the participants is vital to the success of the course. Sure, I know some trainers who are good at “winging it”; however, their classes reflect that approach. They look like good, “winged” classes. Mine do not.
4. Learning is not a one-way street. Participants shouldn’t expect to simply sit in a class and learn from me. They should strive to make meaningful contributions to the class so that everyone (including me) can learn from their own experience. This could be in sharing how they best learn the material as well as how they apply the material in their own life.
5. Training does not need to always be hi-tech. I am the first to admit that I love using technology in the classroom; I am a bit of a techno-geek. Even so, some of the best classes I have taught were very lo-tech. Engaging, interactive group discussions and simple flip charts can be just as effective—sometimes more—than PowerPoint slides and tablet computers.
What do you think? Do you have any suggestions that will help me get my birthday wishes? Do you have any wishes of your own? Feel free to share them here!