The role of Instructor Trainer (aka “Trainer” and different from “Instructor” in Carpentries lingo) has a very special place in The Carpentries. The Trainer community is much smaller than the Instructor community – since we began we have certified only 147 Instructor Trainers, compared with 4,161 certified Instructors! We train Instructor Trainers 1-2 times per year, based on our ability to meet global demand for Instructor Training and the interest of member organisations in supporting Trainers to enhance their local efforts. If this role interests you, be sure to apply now!
How To Apply
This post contains more information about the Trainer role and the certification process. Please review it carefully! When you are ready to apply, please complete this form! Applications will close at the end of February 27, 2023, AoE.
About the Role
A flow chart of our Instructor Training program, from Instructor Trainers to Instructors to Learners.
Trainer Training is the process by which we on-board new Instructor Trainers. Instructor Trainers co-teach Instructor Training events to bring on new Instructors. Instructors teach Carpentries workshops (Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry) to learners worldwide.
About Trainer Training
Trainer Training consists of 10 weekly 1-hour meetings, scheduled by polling. This cohort will start meetings on the earliest date practical, ideally after all local time changes have passed.
In addition to the weekly meetings, trainees are asked to sit in on part of an online Instructor Training event, observe a Teaching Demonstration session, and complete weekly reading and homework assignments from The Carpentries Instructor Training Curriculum as well as our text, How Learning Works by Ambrose et al. Trainees will need to purchase or borrow a copy of the text to use during the training. For more details, have a look at the Becoming a Trainer section in The Carpentries Handbook.
Several factors can influence acceptance, and these are good to know about before you apply.
Purchased vs. Sponsored Seats
We have 2 main pathways for admission to this program. Like Instructor Training, we offer seats for purchase through Membership as well as Carpentries-sponsored admission with no cost to trainees (beyond a textbook that must be purchased or borrowed from a library). Unlike Instructor Training, all applicants are subject to review and must be approved by our panel of current Trainers, including those applying for reserved seats.
All applicants must meet our basic expectations for Instructor Trainers with regard to philosophy and skill in training and community-based work. Teaching new Instructors about The Carpentries approach to training and community is a vital role that shapes the character and culture of our global community. For this reason, we aim to select applicants who will model our practices with care and engage thoughtfully with our growing community of Trainers as we continue to develop this program. Your application will help our panelists get to know you and appreciate the ways in which you are prepared to support our program.
Applicants for Carpentries-sponsored seats will additionally be subject to competitive selection. This selection is based on based on our panel’s ranking of application responses, in combination with the following criteria:
Regional Training Opportunities. When we onboard new Instructor Trainers, we want to be able to provide opportunities to teach! We therefore prioritize applicants who are located in time zones or geographic areas where we have established training needs or sponsorship goals. Note: for geographic areas that rely on in-person training, proximity to another Trainer who can co-teach is necessary as well.
Support for Existing Carpentries Communities. Instructor Trainers often play important roles beyond teaching Instructor Training, and this can be particularly valuable in helping local communities to thrive. Local Trainers can act as community mentors, leading Instructors in reflective practice and supporting new Instructor trainees through the checkout process. The Trainer community also benefits when Trainers from established communities share their local practices in meetings and online discussions. For these reasons, we prioritize Trainers who aim to support existing local communities.
Our selection priorities do change each round, and highly qualified applicants may be declined due to small cohort size. Repeat applications are very welcome and are often more successful in subsequent rounds.
Trainer Training FAQ
Do I need to be a certified Carpentries Instructor to apply?
No. Many applicants are certified Instructors with experience teaching Carpentries workshops. However, this is not always the case — many otherwise strong applicants have not had an opportunity to be involved as an Instructor yet. Applicants who are not certified Instructors should have some prior training in educational best practices, and should be informed and excited about being involved with The Carpentries.
It is, however, necessary to become certified as an Instructor concurrently with Trainer Training. The application will direct anyone who has not yet done so to apply for Instructor Training as well. All accepted Trainer trainees will automatically be accepted for Instructor Training.
What responsibilities will I have as an Instructor Trainer?
Instructor Trainers are invited to:
- co-teach 2-day (or 4-half-day) Carpentries Instructor Training events
- host 1-hr online teaching demonstration sessions
- follow curriculum-related conversations and updates on GitHub
- attend monthly meetings, and check notes for community updates when not attending
- vote in annual Trainer community elections
Other participation and service to the Trainers and broader Carpentries communities can contribute towards meeting the expectations for continuing engagement as an active Instructor Trainer.
In order to retain active status, Trainers are asked to participate at a minimum level (1 event + 2 demos + 4 meetings, or equivalent), and may choose to take leave from their role if they are not able to participate. Alumni Trainers can return to active status at any time. Expectations and renewal procedures are determined by the Trainer community in partnership with the Trainers Leadership Committee. For more details on current expectations, see the The Carpentries Handbook.
What impact will I have as an Instructor Trainer?
Trainers are essential leaders in The Carpentries community. Instructors remember who their Trainers were, and often speak fondly of them years later when they reflect on their Carpentries journey! In addition to training and welcoming future Instructors, Trainers are asked to guide the development of The Carpentries Instructor Training curriculum and program more broadly. There are many ways to take on leadership both formally and informally, and the voice of new Trainers is especially important to making the community welcoming for all. Bring your voice to the table, and help us create the future of The Carpentries!
Trainers often also lead within their home communities, spearheading institutional memberships and supporting community organisation efforts. Trainers may share knowledge and expertise in many ways. It is important to note, however, that Trainers cannot host official Instructor Training events or send any trainees for Instructor certification without prior approval from The Carpentries. Trainers are encouraged to explore membership or inquire about Carpentries-sponsored opportunities on behalf of any groups they would like to train as Carpentries Instructors.
More questions? Please ask!
We want to hear from you! Please bring questions to one of our meetings (above) or email The Carpentries Instructor Training Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New to The Carpentries? Learn More at a Community Welcome Session!
Trainers play a leading role in The Carpentries because they teach Instructors. However, it is not necessary to be a current Carpentries community leader to apply. All applicants who have relevant background and interest in teaching about the theory and practice of great instruction are welcome. Representatives from the Instructor Training team will be attending the Community Welcome Sessions on 22 March – this is a great place to learn about The Carpentries community and ask questions about Trainer Training.
(UTC) Wednesday 22 February 2023 12:00 PM N. America/Los Angeles: Wednesday 22 February 2023 04:00 AM N. America/New York: Wednesday 22 February 2023 07:00 AM Europe/London: Wednesday 22 February 2023 12:00 PM Europe/Paris: Wednesday 22 February 2023 13:00PM Africa/Johannesburg: Wednesday 22 February 2023 14:00 PM Australia/Sydney: Wednesday 22 February 2023 23:00 PM New Zealand: Thursday 23 February 2023 01:00 AM See the start time in your time zone
(UTC) Wednesday 22 February 2023 21:00 PM N. America/Los Angeles: Wednesday 22 February 2023 13:00 PM N. America/New York: Wednesday 22 February 2023 16:00 PM Europe/London: Wednesday 22 February 2023 21:00 PM Europe/Paris: Wednesday 22 February 2023 22:00PM Africa/Johannesburg: Wednesday 22 February 2023 23:00 PM Australia/Sydney: Thursday 23 February 2023 08:00 AM New Zealand: Thursday 23 February 2023 10:00 AM See the start time in your time zone
Help spread the word!
If you know someone who you think would enjoy serving as a Carpentries Instructor Trainer, please help us be sure that they see this announcement!
Dialogue & Discussion
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