“A Different Approach to Teaching” Contributed by Amir Peled

Amir Peled is a Certified Trainer for “Training from the BACK of the Room.” In this post, he relates his discouragement with traditional methods of instruction and his enthusiastic embrace of brain-based, learner-centered teaching.

“For years I hated learning. It always reminded me how the education system gladly ejected me from high school at the age of 16, after being viewed as a bad influence. Consequently, I was not awarded a high school diploma and the truth is I did not really care. However, I did feel betrayed by the education system since I was not always a bad student. As a matter a fact, when I finished elementary school at the age of 12, I set the record for the best grades in my school’s history.

What went wrong after that?

A few key words characterize that period for me. And for the sake of privacy of the people who are close to my heart, I am neither going to elaborate on the words nor associate the words with any of those people. The key words are: Poverty. Hunger. Sex. Drugs. Alcohol. Police. Property and possession foreclosure. Court. Jail. Theft. Failure. Army. Survival.

Glimpse of Hope

Nevertheless, while living abroad in Romania during my 20s, I did follow my future wife’s advice to fulfill my potential. I became a perfectionist, completed my high school curriculum and eventually graduated from the London School of Economics with A Bachelor of Science in Business at the age of 31. I discovered that, as opposed to my initial belief that learning was not my cup of tea, I did actually like learning. It was the way that the instruction was delivered that I truly disliked. So I decided to change that by facilitating workshops and training in a way that was quite different from what I was accustomed to. And I decided not to stop there.

Training from the BACK of the Room (TBR)

On April 12th – 13th 2018,  I attended “Training from the BACK of the Room” in Minneapolis (and was fortunate to be trained by Sharon Bowman). This invaluable two day course was a life-changing experience, which allowed me to take my training skills to a more advanced level.

I learned how to deliver training to ensure that the participants have the most amazing learning experience ever. I got to know some highly-experienced trainers who shared with me their best practices, and I shared mine with them.

In a nutshell, I learned how to design and deliver great training by creating a 4Cs map. The map helps people learn as effectively as possible and helps maximize their learning experiences. (Because of what I learned, I highly recommend this 2-day “Training from the BACK of the Room” class.)

Despite the winter storm “Xanto,” which was the heaviest April snowstorm on record in Minneapolis (officially it brought 15.8 inches of snow April 13th – 16th), I was keen to immediately try out what I learned. But wait! There were two more events to supplement my learning journey: The Global Scrum Gathering® in Minneapolis April 16th – 18th 2018 (I will post an article about it soon), and “The Trainer Certification Course: How to Present ‘Training from the BACK of the Room!'”

The Trainer Certification Course (TCC)

Previously, for 3 consecutive years, I missed attending the TCC because it filled immediately each time it opened for public registration. Upon my 4th attempt for the Minneapolis class, I was put on a waiting list; however, the sponsoring company The Braintrust Consulting Group, announced that it would add more TCC days, so I was notified that I could join the TCC class on April 19th 2018!

Understandably, the Trainer Certification Course was the main reason why I traveled from Romania to Minneapolis in the first place. The 1-day TCC was intense, and it was masterfully facilitated by TBR Certified Trainer Nicole Fleming, who was also the Training Coordinator for The Braintrust Group.

During the TCC, each participant was challenged to use one hour to prepare a brand new 10-minute mini-lesson for a topic about brain-based learning that we had not taught before. We used the “4Cs map” as our brain-based instructional design model. Also, we had to keep in mind how to fully engage our “audience” throughout the 10-minute lesson delivery.

During each 10-minute lesson, all class participants were highly involved.  At the end of each lesson, the participants gave the presenter both verbal and written feedback in the form of “glows and grows” (specific positive feedback and suggestions for improvement).

Being a part of all the 10-minute lessons was an amazing learning experience for all of us. At the end, each of us received a 200-page hard-copy of the Facilitator’s Guide for the 2-day TBR class, a USB memory stick with all the digital files necessary to present a successful TBR class, a framed certification showing that each of us is now a “TBR Certified Trainer,” and a grand celebration of it all!

Next Steps

To get started, I will redesign my current workshops and present a session or two at Agile Coach Camp Romania 2018 about Accelerated Learning and brain-based instruction. Afterwards, I will continue with my preparation to facilitate public 2-day “Training from the BACK of the Room” classes, beginning sometime in November 2018 and continuing onward.

As you’ve read here, learning has became an exciting habit for me. And my learning journey goes on … What about yours?”


Biography: Based in Romania, TBR Certified Trainer Amir Peled is an enthusiastic and energetic Agile Coach with over 7 years of practicing Agile and more than 18 years of project management experience. He has successfully aided organizations in their Agile journey to either adopt or improve their use of Scrum and other Agile frameworks both in troubled projects and new ones. For more about Amir, click on this website’s Certified Trainers page.

Note: For the 2019 Trainer Certification Course days, please read the blog post: Announcing the May 2019 TBR and TCC Days in Austin, Texas.


Thank you for reading!