Trainers have been known to talk about a KASA (Knowledge, Awareness, Skills, and Attitude) in relationship to our work as trainers, teacher’s that we are training, and sometimes other areas of our life.
For example, I may talk about my guitar playing KASA. I know about the instrument—it comes in different types and styles, has a variety of sounds and can be played in different styles. I am aware of guitar sounds in music that I hear. I have only skills that I could bring from playing the ukelele a long time ago, but that has 4 strings not 6 or 12. And as for attitude, I think I could learn to play one passably with lessons and perseverance and sheet music. In fact, I hope to give it a try soon.
But coming back to trainers of teacher training courses. Each trainer has his or her own set of KASA. Maybe they have an MAT in TESOL or Applied Linguistics or Literature or some other field entirely. Maybe they have been training alone, or are licensed with one of the internationally known licensing organizations, and as such have developed certain skills but not others. Maybe they like training and it is a learning experience for them—they can’t wait to start the day, or maybe it is just a job, like washing cars. Maybe they are aware of their impact on their teaching team or not, aware of their impact on their ‘students’ or not, aware of themselves as learners, or not. The thing is, everybody is different and not all of a trainer’s qualities can be neatly divided into one of these four categories, e.g. sometimes Knowledge slops over into Skills. And sometimes there is Experience, the amount of time spent doing training that in an of itself seems to be placed into one of the categories, though I not sure about that.
I have been thinking about trainers’ KASA—what qualities make up trainer KASA? I’ve come up with a list below, in no particular order, that I don’t hear talked about very often, but certainly pay attention to when I see them in other trainers. Which of these KASA do you have, aspire to have, don’t care about? Can you put them in a cline of not required to necessary, easiest to most difficult to learn, least to most important from the learners point of view, concrete to esoteric?
making connections between antithetical or seemingly unrelated things/concepts/ideas
creating a personal sense of safety for each person in the room and then be able shake it
(skill in) using the language to define/elicit nuances
accurately perceiving unstated needs
asking the tough questions in answerable ways
letting a student struggle/wrestle/get grimy with the answer
addressing the why of a activity/point of view/exception succinctly
separating their opinion from the content
This post was written by Tana.