Introducing – Empower the Educator

Jessica Cofer Blog


This spring we’re introducing a new course to our lineup – Empower the Educator, with our first offering of this transformational program set for May 3-8 in Newland, NC.

Just what is Empower the Educator?

We are constantly evaluating and modifying our existing programs to ensure we continue to meet the needs of the individuals and industries we serve. This proactive approach to curriculum development has led us to take a closer look at our popular Train the Trainer program, which was developed in conjunction with Dwayne and Nancy Neustater of Arboriculture Canada Training and Education and first delivered in 2007 as an internal event for NATS and ACTE instructors only.

Learning  from our 13 years of experience and gaining feedback from hundreds of attendees, we have concluded the most effective way of learning is through doing. Our teaching educates attendees to focus on leading indicators, not on the lagging indicators that require a reactionary response to an accident or safety violation.  Furthermore, we believe effective teaching modules must incorporate communication and leadership skills, along with personal development, in order to build impactful safety trainers.

The result is an immersive, transformational experience, where attendees are empowered to educate others by honing existing skills as well as learning and practicing new knowledge, skills, and abilities to educate and impact others. 

Empower the Educator is based on both science and research, taking all of the best components of our Train the Trainer program and integrating elements of leadership, health and wellness, resiliency, and industry-leading technical content NATS has become known for.

The course focuses on one of three domains to serve as the vehicle of instruction: Chainsaw Safety and Cutting Techniques; Technical Tree Climbing; and Electrical Hazard Awareness Training and Aerial Rescue.  Utilizing NATS’ existing course outlines, Empower integrates technical skills and competency into its structure and utilizes TCIA Tree Care Academy workbooks for instruction. This collaborative approach to instruction provides best-in-class training and education credentials for participants. 

During the course,  participant’s competency is assessed in a variety of skills and upon successful completion, graduates will receive a Certificate of Qualification in the disciplines in which they successfully demonstrate proficiency. Through our partnership, participants can also receive additional credentials from TCIA as well.

Leading the course is our team of Master Instructors, industry leading subject matter experts in their field and OSHA-authorized trainers.  As Empower the Educator facilitators, they guide participants through transformational education, honoring differing perspectives with a continued focus on safety. The program is intended to deepen our understanding of ourselves, both personally and professionally, with key takeaways of self-discovery and personal transformation.

With Train the Trainer retired from our course offerings, our Empower the Educator program is focused on YOU, empowering you to be the best you can be, to be inspired to think differently, understand the “why” (understanding the “why” is one of the most empowering ways to approach education), and break down personal barriers to unleash the educator within you to rise to your ultimate potential.

To find out more about our Empower the Educator program and to register for an upcoming course, please visit our website, or email or call us: info@natstraining.com, 888-652-9116.

What’s in a name?

NATS has defined an Empowered Educator as someone who is able to facilitate group wisdom; is a good listener; speaks from the heart with strength, clarity and ease; embraces a mistake as an opportunity to learn; and chooses kindness at all times.

We spoke with Dr. Amanda Carpenter, DPT, NATS’ Health and Wellness Director and Empower the Educator facilitator, to dive into those a bit more.

  • Able to facilitate group wisdom: Amanda explains that we don’t have to be the best at anything, not necessarily the expert, but rather be able to pull that expertise out of the group because the group can in fact teach itself. The act of being able to let go and lead and learn requires self-discovery, and the result is that everyone leaves with a different perspective, and “may even leave smarter than when they arrived.”

“The ability to facilitate group wisdom takes a deeper understanding of oneself,” she says. “Even if you don’t know everything, knowing how to work a crowd can help facilitate meaningful discussion.”

  • Is a good listener: An Empowered Educator actually does more listening than talking, according to Amanda. “They’re not the expert doing lots of talking, but rather ask questions and lets the group teach and facilitate that learning.”
  • Speaks from the heart with strength, clarity and ease: Empowered Educators are present, not perfect. Educators who lead this way require less preparation, as opposed to having to memorize course content. Amanda says that those educators who understand that they already have what they need just need to be able to tap into it.
  • Embraces a mistake as an opportunity to learn: “There are going to be mistakes,” says Amanda. “The question is, what do we learn from them?”

Mistakes may happen within the program and among participants. Asking what we can learn from them opens up a conversation.

  • Chooses kindness at all times: “Every interaction we have during Empower the Educator is coming from a point of kindness,” Amanda explains. Simple enough.