Friday, December 26, 2014

How a teacher differs from the trainer?

During the course of a discussion,  the following was the topic selected by the forum members:

Why is training so important for a job/on the job after undergoing so many years of education ? Does it mean that the trainers are doing better job than the teachers ?

The valid points emanated from three members are reproduced here below for the information of the readers:

Member 01:
Necessarily there is a difference between a teacher and the trainer.   It is like working in a hotel. A person who manages the kitchen is called as the chef and the person who manages the entire administration is called as the “manager”. The same person can be a chef at one point of time while he accepts the role of a chef and a manager while he assumes the role of a manager; however, the individual remains the same.

In the instant case, the teacher fills the knowledge gap. He is instrumental in enabling the students  understand more on the subjects chosen. In the case of a trainer, he enables the trainee to acquire certain competencies. Unless a person acquires the necessary competencies like communication ability, leadership quality, time management, inter personal relationship, problem solving capability, emotional skills etc, whatever may be his academic caliber he cannot justify the post he occupies. It may be managing a retail shop – where he has to handle the difficult customers, manage time to service the customers promptly and efficiently.

Member: 02
As earlier said, the same person can be a teacher and the trainer. While the individual  performs the role of a teacher, he concentrates much on the subjects he has to handle rather than the behavioural aspects of the student. He takes much care in delivering the inputs rather than the reactions on the part of the students except the learning inquisitiveness in them. This is on account of the facts that he may not be having required time and to mention specifically, as a teacher he has to necessarily make a thorough research over the subjects he handles rather than personality sitting in front of him .

In the case of a trainer, he has no subjects to teach. He has only personalities in front of him to be trained. He has no books to read; however, he has individuals to be motivated, geared up and tuned up.  Towards training the personalities he  focuses his in depth study in reading  mindset of the trainees and  employs various tools and techniques by which the students are driven out from their present mindsets. He necessarily focuses more on communication ability, leadership quality , problem solving ability , time management, logical thinking etc.
When the student wants to learn a subject, his role is said to be a student and when he wants to learn his own competencies and soft qualities, he is called as a trainee and while the teacher makes an earnest attempt in enabling the student understand the subjects, the trainer enables the trainee understand his own traits hidden in the form of strengths and weaknesses.

Member: 03
In a sense dice are loaded against the teachers; however, in favour of the trainers. A teacher has to cover a variety of topics. It is almost like everything under the sun. Most of the business schools especially in countries like India expect the students to cram as many as twelve to fifteen courses in a semester during the course of acquiring one MBA qualification. This increases the burden not only on the part of the students; however,   the teachers as well. Normally they are always sailing on the comparison mode with their counterparts in other business schools. The time available for completion of these types of exercises is very limited. Moreover, teachers by virtue of the qualities acquired through their profession rarely possess real life experiences to highlight the students in pursuit of acquiring any soft qualities.

A trainer on the other hand has fairly a narrow and focused set of items in front of him to cover. These are normally related to the immediate job requirements of the students. The trainer needs to have varieties of live-wire examples to drive home the trainees in understanding the required competencies and the lab or practice sessions which are more valuable to bring in requisite skills are also likely to be more focused in case of company-organised or facilitated programmes.

In the case of industry-oriented  training programmes, the focus is requirement based and confined to limited walls. This is almost a luxury that the teacher in a school or college environment cannot afford.