Day 3 of Train the Trainer, Amman
Well, that was incredibly unpleasant. Management has brought me dry toast and Sprite, so I’m waiting to see if they help settle my stomach. They have called to check on me, the manager came up to see if I needed a doctor or to go to the hospital- when I said I was going to see how the soda and toast worked, he asked if I’d like some tea. Very quickly, a server returned with chamomile tea.
Unfortunately, my date with the porcelain goddess was not over. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I can’t keep this up all night and train all day tomorrow.
Thanks in advance!
Here are incidents and reflections from the day:
A number of my large dice and star-shaped squeezables have been ruined with writing and drawing. Luma felt terrible about it and offered to try to wash them off. She wasn’t successful but still asked if she could take them home to use some other cleaner. Of course, I said yes. What a loving and generous young woman.
Luma is also very talented. I asked her about a cloth bracelet that looked hand loomed- and she both makes and sells them. There is no loom involved, she just spends hours twisting the cloth. Many of the staff are wearing her bracelets. She lets them select the cloth colors and then makes the bracelets to order. I’m very impressed with her work! I’m going to ask if she can make one for me. ☺
When reviewing the evaluations, everyone loves the training except for one person. I have no idea who it is. Majd told me it has nothing to do with my training, that they do have some negative people. I decided to establish a learning contract (which I should have done the first day)- that they tell me when the training isn’t meeting their needs, so I have an opportunity to make adjustments. Tonight, another zinger.
I also laid down the law- be on time, be quiet when someone is speaking, and put away the phones- or I will take them until the end of the session. It did have a small positive effect. I had to repeat it later in the day and they paid more attention.
Majd spoke to them about not defacing my table top toys- and yet at the end of the day three more were defaced. We have permanently removed them from the tables (two days’ late…)
They loved the Grab the Koosh ball game, where they quiz each other and the person who has the answer grabs the Koosh from the middle of the table. Correct answers have assigned points, which they are under the honor system to tally for themselves. The competition was fierce, to say the least! At the end of the day, Abdullah said he planned to use it in his next training.
We did a gallery walk where small groups went from flip chart to flipchart answering questions posted there about the five levels of evaluation. They surprised me by having a number of good responses, although many precipitated long arguments and discussion. (Most of the activities last much longer than usual for the very same reason).
They had very perceptive learning activity ideas to minimize resistance from reluctant participants.
They also loved the activity where they write down a classroom challenge on a small slip of thin paper, roll it up, push it into a balloon, which they blow up and tie off. They had a blast hitting the balloons to music and popping them when the music stopped. Each person had to grab one of the slips of paper and read it for the group to make suggestions. We all sat in a circle for an hour, many on the floor and some (including me) on chairs, discussing various constructive responses. Wasam thanked me privately, saying that was the most useful activity for him.
I sat with Abdullah and Wasam at lunch and learned about: working with Saudi children in the camps; the work with teens at risk outside of the camps, providing counseling, training, career mentoring- and psychological help if necessary. Wasam has been volunteering to work with children all through his high school and college- he is very committed to them. They both mentioned how, despite all of the horrors that the small children have already experienced, they continue to have hope in their eyes.
There is another wedding- and now I know how they are able to replace the tables exactly as they were- they literally carry the large tables out of the room!
Majd gave me a fascinating explanation regarding Arab culture and the ruined materials, but I’ll have to tell you about that tomorrow. I was going to review and comment on the participants’ lesson plans, but I just don’t have the energy or stomach for it right now. I’ll have to do it tomorrow or Friday, when there is a holiday so we won’t be meeting.