Professional Development (PD) is an important element for anyone responsible for managing staff. Creating opportunities for PD can be time-consuming and daunting during the best of times, let alone during a pandemic when in-person options are limited.
Here are 3 ways to ensure everyone can benefit from PD time:
1. Facilitated classes - With online classes being the safest option right now, you can still make them engaging and collaborative with some twists on the elements in our courses. Since studies have shown that we learn best by doing, our classes are designed to not only inform but also to give you an opportunity to apply the learning. Many of the hands-on learning in the classes can be done individually but could also be a great opportunity for collaboration and discussion with your team.
To use online classes with a group, have each person complete the class individually online prior to your PD day. They can skip the "Think about it" and "Interact" sections for group discussion (simply type "completed" in the interact box to continue).
On your PD day, you can review the class as a group, going over the highlights of the course, ideas that were most relevant for your program, etc. Use the "Think about it" and "Interacts" as an opportunity for further discussion as a group. This is a great way to ensure everyone has effectively absorbed the topic and to also share best practices and hear different perspectives on the subject.
We can also help facilitate group purchases, through invoicing, purchase orders, and other discounts. Please contact us for more information.
2. Director's Guide - You can learn more about our classes, including Learning Objectives and Course Goal, in our Director’s Guide to Childcare Training and Staff Development. This free guide will help you set goals, develop plans and choose the best classes for each teacher based on their specific needs.
As always, we are also here to help with your training needs and are available to make recommendations on class selection and offer guidance on professional development.
3. Professional Development Plan (PDP) - Setting personal and professional development goals is an important part of your staff's development, just as setting business goals is to effectively managing the program. Without goals, employees may not be clear on the expectations of their role. Performance issues can often be about simply a lack of communication around expectations.
The PDP form is an effective guide to determining development needs for each individual. It will help outline goals and priorities as well as resources needed to achieve these. The PDP also identifies what success looks like for each of these goals so everyone is on the same page regarding results.
For more information on the PDP and other tools, try our Support Your Staff's Development course.
Considering the importance of the work you and your staff do every day, continuing to build on your capabilities directly impacts the ability to shape the lives of the children in your care. Studies have shown that the quality of care a child receives is often based on the training of their teachers. Investing in the development of your staff also pays off in creating a nurturing and caring environment for your children.
Developing your staff requires a regular commitment of time and resources but it is one of the best investments you'll make! Counter to what many feel motives employees, it's often not money, but rather recognition and a feeling of being valued.
Investing in your employees both in their professional development and also showing that you care about their personal fulfillment can create an environment that builds and retains great staff. Considering the costs of losing good employees, keeping them engaged and motivated is a win-win for all!"What I hear, I forget; What I see, I remember; But what I do, I understand."