“A good trainer is a lifelong learner”

Reem Eslim, Palestine 







Reem Eslim is a human development trainer and developmental projects officer at the Ministry of Social Development. She attended training that helped her accept and work with different learning styles, perspectives and methods.

Adult Education and Development: Why did you participate in the training of trainers (ToT)?

Reem Eslim: As a trainer, I believe that persons always have the ability to use their potentials effectively. This is why I wanted to increase this ability and make use of new things that I can learn to empower participants. I have been in training courses with participants from various sectors, and what is common among them all is that they join training hoping to achieve more in life as professionals, or just as individuals. They want to be more capable of adapting to difficult life conditions. I joined the ToT programme because of my conviction that I need to develop as a trainer to become someone who believes in their chances to empower others and who acts upon that.

What did you learn during the training?

There were multiple benefits. On the personal level, I have noticed the change in how I look at myself as an individual and as a trainer; why I do this, what my roles are, and how I can use my knowledge and skills to assist others in their development. I now have a more open perspective towards my needs and priorities, without being constrained by pre-determined concepts that others may put forward or expect me to put forward. This made me see completely new opportunities for my career that I had never considered before. On the professional level, I have noticed the change in my way of thinking when it comes to group dynamics, and how to approach different “types” of participant. As a trainer, I have learnt how to be more aware of spaces that I can create for participants to think openly and freely, and how to guide them to “liberate” their thoughts about the subject of the training.

What impact did the training have on your work?

I mobilised for and succeeded in delivering training for 100 colleagues to increase their awareness of emancipatory, participative and empowering approaches to training. I also used the new learning I gained to change my own approaches in training with my regular target groups (vocational training centres). I created a new programme within my regular job to target the trainers of these centres with adult education methods and approaches. This programme is considered a new direction at the Ministry, and it is helping to open new horizons and ideas regarding vocational training centres.

What makes a good trainer?

I believe the most important quality of a good trainer is their respect for attendees’ thoughts and concepts, and their ability to show this respect in practice, especially when those thoughts conflict with their own. Another important quality is truly valuing not only the capacities and experiences of participants, but also their limitations, and adapting to those to make sure everyone is part of the learning process. A good trainer needs also to be flexible, capable of dealing with whatever thoughts come up. A good trainer is a trainer who sees themselves as one equal member of a group of learners. And indeed, a good trainer is a lifelong learner who is well equipped with up to date knowledge in their own field.

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