The process of learning and acquiring new skills often requires the assistance of numerous experts, the functions of which share a range of similarities, which is why the differences between the experts in question become quite blurred. The propensity toward conflating the jobs of a teacher and a trainer represents one of the most common examples of the specified phenomenon. Although the general idea behind training and teaching might sound superficially similar, there is a substantial difference between the two. In contrast to a trainer, whose goal is to help a student acquire a set of specific skills and utilize them accordingly, a teacher’s goal is to assist the target audience in discovering their unique learning paradigms, therefore, becoming independent in their academic and professional journeys.
Firstly, and most importantly, the scope of a teacher as an educator differs significantly from that one of a trainer. Namely, while a trainer is expected to center on a narrower issue, such as the process of building a specific skill, a teacher must embrace the broader notion of a specific discipline that requires the development of the skill in question. Therefore, the range of issues that a trainer addresses is less broad than that one of a teacher.
Considering the issue further, one will realize that, in contrast to a trainer, who integrates mostly practical lessons into the learning process, a teacher develops a robust theoretical foundation for the classes first. Although practical tasks and the process of applying obtained knowledge and skills to a specific problem also represent a part of the routine created by a teacher, the latter must first introduce a theoretical basis for the learning process. By including the specified component into the methodological approach to teaching, an educator ensures that a student is capable of recognizing the principles and laws behind the solutions developed for managing specific problems and projects. In turn, a trainer does not typically address the theoretical tenets behind a certain skill.
The observation made above allows making the final crucial distinction between a teacher and a trainer. Since the training process as the stage of building the skills associated with specific theoretical knowledge represents an essential part of the academic process, one can claim that a trainer should eb seen as one of the many roles of a teacher. In contrast, a trainer cannot embrace the full gamut of roles that a teacher can play. Therefore, as a teacher, one can also be a trainer, yet the opposite is highly unlikely.
Compared to a trainer, whose role primarily concerns assisting a student in building a certain skillset, a teacher is expected to introduce one to the development fop a learning identity and the acquisition of self-directed learning skills for further self-improvement. Therefore, as a teacher, one is also likely to play the role of a trainer at some point in the learner’s journey toward improvement. However, in addition to supporting a student in the course of building specific skills, a teacher must also provide more general guidance that will introduce a learner to the concept of independent studying. In other words, the information that the teacher provides to a student is mostly theoretical so that the learner could extrapolate crucial knowledge independently, whereas a trainer offers exclusively practical tasks. Thus, while a teacher may assume the role of a trainer, the opposite cannot take place.