Hard to believe I’ve been a trainer for twenty years. It’s been a fabulous ride. Impossible to sum up succinctly, but pictures give at least a flavour.My path into training was accidental. I’d recently finished a master’s degree, and was doing a variety of reading-related work, when a head of libraries asked me for a course on how libraries can help children’s reading. It taught me a huge amount and was enormously rewarding. Gradually training took me over.I still love giving courses and inset on ways to engage children in books and reading, whether for very young children or much older ones, whether very able, or with reading problems, or anywhere in between, and whether as training for librarians or teachers or early years practitioners or parents and carers. Running courses on effective provision for children and young people in school and public libraries and museums gives me enormous pleasure too.I have been immensely lucky to have been asked for courses on all sorts of issues that matter to me, special needs, for example, and looked after children. It’s been great to work with practitioners in a whole variety of sectors: education, libraries, museums and more. I’ve learnt such a lot from that. Along the way I have met so many fabulous and inspiring people.There have been some great training venues over the years – lots of lovely schools and libraries, and some awe-inspiring museums. Giving courses in castles has been fun, and the race course was pretty spectacular. But nowhere before or since has beaten the circus tent I once gave a workshop in.Any sadnesses? One in particular: the tragedy of library and school library services cut-backs and closures. The impact on children will be dreadful.That aside, training continues to enthral me. No two courses are ever the same. I never know what to expect, and that’s really exciting. I never stop learning.
Monday, 1 February 2016