You are busy and trying to put spot fires out here and there almost everyday. I get it. The last thing on your priority list is pulling together an interactive presentation for your teams.
You are hearing your staff asking for help and support either directly or reflected indirectly in their work. But the practicalities of getting to each individual educator is tough to negotiate.
There seems to be almost no room on the staff meeting agenda to even consider professional learning.
Any time outside of working hours will cost money that can be spent in other places - so the justification for requesting staff attending professional sessions in their own time doesn't seem economical.
I have some insight that will help you see just how influential regular, in house professional learning can be for your teams (and if done correctly, can free up time and money)
Keep reading to see what this means for your early learning service!
There is this fear that looms many business owners, approved providers and directors about structuring in house professional learning for their early learning teams. This can be appreciated when you consider the cost of having to provide TIL or the like for staff meetings that often don't come away with many problems solved.
You may of heard other services whom have thrown away staff meetings all together and replaced these times with professional development sessions - leaving you asking two things, HOW and WHY?
The how is relatively easy to unpack - many services whom adopt this practice noticed that their staff meetings were not as productive or efficient for the cost and when I stumbled on this snippet I could appreciate the numbers a little more.
You see many early learning services are now adopting memo style instant messaging practices as a way to reduce the typical demand for staff meetings and this opened up valuable pockets of time and money that could be used to invest in the continuous and ongoing development of educators and teachers in the service through changing the way they used these times.
Before we get lost in the overwhelming idea on what would happen if you decided to can your staff meetings as of tomorrow - I want to acknowledge that this is not something that is appropriate for all services and teams. Some leadership and management systems are so well designed and structured that the traditional perspective of staff meetings is thrown completely out the window.
But - what I am highlighting is the opportunity for your service to gain some meaningful development, in house, that is specific to the current needs of your teams. I am highlighting that this is something that can occur frequently, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly (this is up to you) and that if you don't have the time to pull it together - there are people who can help.
Stay with me for a minute and come on an imaginative little journey -
Picture the current status and function of your staff meetings.
People arrive, chit chat for a bit. Things get started, you talk- they listen. You mix things up with some interactive reading nd conversations - reflective questioning used as a strategy to enhance engagement.
You leave the meeting feeling good - you tackled some big issues, some deep concepts, managed some house keeping dilemmas.
Fast forward a week, or two and all that is evident of the staff meeting in practice is some heated discussions amongst team members sharing their perspectives about the change. Leaving the professional learning to the back of the room because the everyday actions and routine tasks are sitting in the face of every educator - every day - and these are much easier to deal with in the grand scheme of things.
Now, lets shake that up and go on another imaginative journey -
Picture the existence of staff meetings, as we traditionally know them to be, occurring only where absolutely necessary. That the responsibility of keeping current with service's conduct, reflections and practice is equally held in the hands of the employee as it is the managements responsibility to coordinate the release of such information. Imagine forgoing that unnecessary desire to document every little conversation held between educators.
Replace the traditional meetings with in house 'workshops' - interactive, emotive, engaging, enticing, provoking and empowering educators to invest in their roles as professionals in ways they hadn't considered, or lost track of.
Imagine these professional learning opportunities as influential guides that encourage educators to not only transfer this new knowledge and disposition to their own work but to interact with a fellow colleague about it.
Imagine seeing educators more engaged in the daily routine tasks that there is a reduction in the amount of house keeping 'dilemmas' being added to the staff meeting memos each rotation. The skills and culture enhanced through regular professional learning opportunities positively influencing the way staff interact with one another - enabling them to critically reflect and let go of ethical issues that in the past would have bogged the whole team down for weeks.
Imagine this to be you, your service and your teams! Because it can be.
Here's the catch - there is no hard and fast way to achieve anything.
You can get stuck acknowledging what 'would be nice' 'what you should do more of' 'what you would love to invest in'
But acknowledging it and doing something about it are two different things.
Don't get stuck. Reach out and let me show you how I can help get the ball rolling for your teams.
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