Top ten tips for teacher trainers

1 FLEXIBILITY: Always have a backup plan in case something is not working, such as the Internet.

2 KNOWLEDGE: It’s important to have a vast knowledge of the topic you’re teaching. You don’t have to be a Jedi master, but at least be able to answer most questions.

3 CONFIDENCE: Nothing is more uncomfortable for the audience than watching somebody who looks as if they don’t deserve, or want, to be there.

4 INNOVATION: Use a variety of tools and present information in new ways to keep your audience engaged.

5 ORGANIZATION: An organized presentation will make the presenter’s life easier.

6 RESOURCES: Give the audience something tangible that they can take back with them or download (e.g., digital books, CD, etc.).

7 CREATIVITY: The traditional PowerPoint presentation is not engaging for a 21st-century audience.

8 HUMILITY: It’s good to know your subject, but don’t act like a know-it-all. We can always learn more from one another, so be open to constructive criticism and encourage teacher-students to develop personal learning networks.

9 HUMOR: Nothing lightens a room more than a little humor

10 AVAILABILITY: Make yourself available for networking and answering questions even after the event is over.

—David Kapuler is the media and technology specialist at Greendale (Wis.) School District. Read his blog at