Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 11.52.08 AM“It is difficult to teach when you have never been taught.” -Anonymous

Stripped down to its core, Train the Trainers (TtT) lays out the fundamentals of how to be an effective teacher. Being a teacher is wrought with many hardships from dealing with that know-it-all wanting to showcase his intelligence at the most inappropriate times or knowing how to properly administer feedback to an unreceptive student. But, of course, one cannot simply forge into battle without building some sort of camaraderie with our fellow delegates upon the unspoken agreement that, for the weekend, we are all there to appreciate the value of passing on knowledge.

By exploring the intricacies of how to deliver that knowledge to an audience, we became proficient at cultivating a room filled with learners who are attentive, present and willing to learn. With AIESEC repeatedly proving that a yearly turnover rate can lead to success, it is imperative that each generation, well-versed in the processes and ideals of AIESEC, are consistently produced.  Train the Trainers shows us the value of applying different methods of teaching to reach different learning styles and teaches us how to manage an audience regardless of size or composition ensuring that our scope includes everybody in the room. Train the Trainers teaches us to command not only the audience, but the space itself, using the dynamics of a room to our advantage.

TtT taught us not only how to train but it also taught us about ourselves as well. With time and space provided for self-reflection, it became easier to acknowledge my own shortcomings and focus on how to improve them. We were given a chance to teach a specific topic at our discretion. I had intended to beguile the minds of the delegation with a story about priorities (i.e. The Jar of Life). Instead it led to my own unearthing of where my priorities stood at this point in time, something that was a long time coming. TtT provides the space for self-awareness which was immensely gratifying.

Knowledge is the driving force of this organization and by becoming certified trainers, the delegates and I became part of a group that helps drive the organization forward. One of the main benefits of going into this mini-conference is being surrounded by people who share the same passion for AEISEC and, as a delegate, one can feed off of that passion. With students from Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria and University of British Columbia striving to learn how to better equip their own Local Committees by becoming a better trainers, it becomes easier to remember that we were all there to help bring AIESEC forward.

In this mini-conference we were given to the opportunity to put all that we have theorized into practice and see whether or not our current methods prove effective. We are forced to work with people whom we have just met and be expected to produce a project usually planned for months. It is certainly a testament to the standards that AIESEC holds its members to that we are all able to pass on our knowledge to the next generation of leaders.

By Andrea Banzon, Finance and Governance