Trainer Spotlight: Marisue Traina


Sugar Loaf, New York

Describe how your career as a trainer started.

SpringFlowers3My career as a trainer began with teaching in a public school setting where I was given the opportunity to train in and to create a variety of exciting educational options and programs :Renzulli-based gifted and talented education, technology education for young children and non-English-speaking adults, peer coaching, cooperative learning, HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills), Multiple Intelligences, Brain-Based Learning, staff development, change dynamics and assessment development. I extended my audience to include primary through intermediate school children, undergraduate and graduate level adults and education professionals. My love of teaching led me outside the public school system and into the private sector where I have been able to utilize all my prior training and experience in a less restrictive and more focused setting.

When you see someone’s shoulders relax, their smile return and the lights go on in their eyes because they understand the new process, they can perform the new procedure and they are excited about the new change – that’s the trainer’s high I live for.Marisue Traina

What has been your favorite moment as a trainer?

Preparing and training employees who take pride in their work and who have reached a level of proficiency and comfort in their jobs to perform that job in a new and unfamiliar way requires a mix of training, nurturing, supporting and counseling. My favorite moments are when you see the fear in someone’s eyes replaced by confidence. When you see someone’s shoulders relax, their smile return and the lights go on in their eyes because they understand the new process, they can perform the new procedure and they are excited about the new change – that’s the trainer’s high I live for.

Please give some tips to a person about to train a class for the first time.

First, understand who it is you are training and use that knowledge to inform your training. The pace, the language level, the method of delivery and the tone of the training need to be varied so that each person can receive the information in the way they can best assimilate it. The training isn’t about you, the trainer, it’s about them, your trainees.

What topics do you love to teach?

The topic doesn’t matter. I enjoy teaching the most when I am not allowed the freedom to make my training as effective as possible.

What do you do to go the extra mile as a trainer?

TakingNotesWebThe short answer is that I think about my training. First, I do everything I can to prepare well including gathering as much information as possible about the topic, company and trainees we are involved with and visualizing the training I have planned to help me identify possible issues. During the training I seek to constantly increase my knowledge of the topic. I provide opportunities outside of the structured training for trainees to ask questions and gain additional practice. I also take the time to reflect upon each day of training for areas that could be improved upon or successes that could be built upon. If there are sticky areas, I can generate new ideas for working through them. I believe it’s important to record notes, suggestions, ideas, successes and struggles throughout each project and review them frequently in order to grow as a trainer. As a project manager, I take the time to build a team. I want my trainers to know and value each other. I like to identify and build upon the strengths of each of my trainers.

What celebrity do you think would be the best trainer? Why?

Not Gordon Ramsay, belittling your trainees and creating an atmosphere of anxiety is a path to failure as a trainer. Humor is a great training tool, but not sarcasm and insult so Ricky Gervais is out. You need to be able to convey information in an understandable and logical manner so Gary Busey is out.

Maybe Keith Urban, lovely smile, silly sense of humor, able to convey a sensible piece of information in an easily understood manner. His impressive musical ability may indicate good mathematical and analytical skills. He’s obviously creative.

Anything else that you’d like to share?

I received my certification as a floral designer from the Bronx Botanical Gardens and a certificate in Cakes, Tarts and Tortes from the continuing education program at the C.I.A. YogaBeach1I am presently studying to become a
certified yoga instructor and I just signed up for a class in cheese-making through Eataly in NYC. I am an education junkie. As soon as I earn (or win) money I use it to learn or see something new. You have to give yourself ample
opportunities to be a student in order to sharpen your skills as a trainer. It’s also beneficial to watch how other students are affected by different types of training and to speak with them about whatthey found helpful as well as any techniques that totally turned them off.