Great trainings engage staff with new ideas through experiences, discussions, and interaction. Each training focuses on a single skill for facilitating STEM learning. Well trained staff can deliver high quality OST programming that has a positive impact on youth. The skills and competencies that staff need to deliver high quality programming can be developed through the interactions and discussions of a well-planned professional development program.
Coaching can be an effective way to change practices. Staff coaching involves ongoing teaching, reinforcement of newly learned skills, and adaptations of skills and knowledge of the field to fit practitioner’s personal styles. Staff coaching includes activities for both individuals and small groups, such as on-the-job observation, instruction, modeling, feedback, debriefing, and emotional support. Staff “coaches” may be other frontline staff members, administrators, outside consultants, or staff supervisors.
Effective professional development can be part of a regularly scheduled staff meeting, conducted virtually, or combined with training and coaching sessions to create a blended learning experience that makes a meaningful impact on staff.