It’s the end of the year and I’m working on staff evaluations and starting to think about working with each of the coaches to set some goals for the new year. I truly enjoy the experience of staff evaluations. I enjoy sitting down with each person, reflecting on their year and talking about their successes and growth opportunities. I enjoy reading their self evaluations and talking with them about the things that they valued throughout their year.
Goal setting and professional development planning is more challenging for me. It’s hard to sit down and think about what it is they might want to learn and work towards over the next year. I notice that it’s hard for the coaches too. We are all so busy with our day-to-day work, it’s difficult to imagine fitting in time to learn a new skill or strategy. And at the same time, as a supervisor, it’s important for me to encourage people to think beyond the busy day-to-day work and think long term about helping them feel like they have the tools necessary to do their work well.
I think to be successful with professional development planning and goal setting for the new year, we need to consider writing an effective performance goal with action steps to support meeting that goal. By meeting regularly with staff and observing them as they do their work, I am able to think about each of them as an individual and align their strengths and areas of opportunity to the mission of our agency. These observations keep their goals relevant to them and the goals of the agency. Another strategy that I plan to use to while setting goals and planning for future professional development opportunities with staff is to reference the Core Knowledge and Competencies (CKC) Documents that Ohio has written. Ohio has Core Knowledge and Competencies Documents for After-School Professionals, Early Childhood Professionals, and Administrators. These documents can be found here. Each of these documents has levels and categories to help the staff and I think about things that are relevant and specific to their wants and needs.
So, as I begin to think about the new year and setting goals with staff, I don’t feel so overwhelmed because I know that I have resources. I have the observations and regular conversations with staff to support us as we move forward. I have the CKC documents to inspire those performance goals. And I’m also trying to keep in mind that the professional development plan is a living document. Sometimes plans will need to change and that’s okay. The important part is that we have created a path to help our agency and the staff be successful. Here’s to the coming New Year. Happy 2015.