Being new to the position of leadership coach at 4C but also having plenty of experience in the field as a director myself, I have noticed that one of the largest hurdles is getting staff to workshops willingly!
Getting staff on board with the idea of training during “off hours” can be a challenging and stressful job for the administrator. It can be overwhelming and time consuming, especially when you are trying to orient new staff to your program.
Acclimating new staff to what is expected of them as a professional can be a little like potty training a puppy. It’s not easy! Veterinarians say that it can take up to a year to fully potty train puppies, and even then some never step up to the challenge. To successfully train puppies (and your staff!), it takes time, effort, rewards and consistency.
Sure, staff need to understand the atmosphere of what makes your program tick, but they also need those basic skills that will help them enter the classroom with confidence and knowledge. What if the employees don’t understand what is developmentally appropriate? What if they don’t know how to write a lesson plan and what content they should be teaching? What if they don’t have creative ideas about behavior management? What if they knew what to say in an interview but had NO IDEA how to carry it out when they are faced with the actual children in a classroom?
Professional development is invaluable in building the confidence and knowledge that contribute to a great staff member. When teachers have exhausted all of their good ideas in the classroom, workshops offer them the chance to refresh and to explore new approaches to learning. So often I see teachers in workshops writing down ideas with excitement, ready to take what they have learned and apply it to their classroom.
Challenge your staff to take on professional development for their own growth. As a team look at what is offered and register for classes that will aid in their progress. Challenge yourself to not only attend the workshops yourself but model the growth process for your staff! Never consider yourself fully “trained.” There’s always more to learn!