Open Discussion Forum

 View Only
Expand all | Collapse all

Staff Training

  • 1.  Staff Training

    Posted 07-15-2022 07:55 AM
    Lately, our staff training has not been "sticking" with new staff.  I try to get the new staff members excited during the training.  Does anyone have a staff training program that they would like to share and I can compare it with our training program.  I am not sure if the new staff is not retaining.  This is the program that we have used for a while.  It just has not been "sticking" the past few months with the new employees.  Thank you so much.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-16-2022 09:21 AM
    I am responding from a instructional design point of view.  Here are a few questions I have:  Have you done a learner analysis that is determined the characteristics, age, gender and background knowledge?.   Do learners have time to reflect on this is information in ways that inform their teaching? Does the information needed to be presented in a different format. For example giving them an assignment that they can complete ahead of the training and then taking a deeper dive into the topic when face-to-face?

    ------------------------------
    Linda Snead-Sanders
    RIL Consulting & Training, Inc
    Stone Mtn GA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-16-2022 12:04 PM
    I agree the level of teacher stress is huge. Stress is magnified as it goes from parents to students to teachers to administrators and back again. No one feels listened to. Practice listening by starting with the children. Asking teachers to hold and report back on simple conversations with students might be a place to start. Using conversation starters in my books could be a place to start. "The Gift of Words: How Do Children Learn to Talk?" and "The Gift of Math: Twelve Math Conversation Starters for Parents and Young Children" by  Talmage Steele.

    ------------------------------
    Tammy Steele
    consultant
    Talk To Me Mama
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-18-2022 08:25 AM
    Thank you for all of the perspectives.  The situation seems to come back to staff not recalling how to stock classrooms in the evenings, lock the doors in the evening, change bleach bottles, simple cleaning, etc.  The staff are exceptional with the children, it is the other responsibilities that they are having difficulty remembering.  We have a small center and one staff couldn't find the refrigerator in the kitchen.  We have an open door policy and the staff are able to share their frustrations.  This is occurring with all ages of staff.  We have had staff help us develop the New Staff Training Guidelines.  Thank you.  I will speak with the staff that help with training again and share these ideas.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-18-2022 03:42 PM
    Do you have checklists available for staff to utilize? This may help habits form. Also a simple sign in a staff common area may help. Something like, "Stop! Before you leave, have you completed your closing duties?" Being new to a job can be overwhelming, and I know for someone like me, lists and visual reminders help my ADHD brain!

    ------------------------------
    Karen Killian
    Texas Workforce Commission
    Round Rock TX
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-18-2022 03:47 PM
    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for the ideas.  We do have daily checklists that have to be turned in nightly, besides being turned in, they are posted in the classroom.  They are even asked prior to leaving if they have completed all tasks.  I just don't understand it right now.  We have never had this much trouble with daily responsibilities.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-16-2022 10:21 AM

    Cynthia:

    I have no advice as to particular training programs but have some thought as to why this might be ocurring now.  I work in early childhood centers in two cities helping children by helping their caregivers--teachers, administrators, and parents--  figure out the needs of specific children and how to support them.  What I've seen this year and what administrators report, is that teachers' stress levels have been higher than they were earlier in the pandemic.  The emergency fearful phase of the pandemic lessened (for most people) and the slog of learning how to live with it, as cases and variants come and go, has been difficult for many with the added treats of high staff turnover, staffing shortages, and an increase in behavioral challenges and developmental concerns in children (some of that due to their own rising stress levels).  We are TIRED!  I saw a level of exhaustion that I hadn't seen before--and the exhaustion before was already high.

    With this comes, for many teachers, a lessening of the ability to take in and incorporate new information and strategies.  The bandwidth isn't there.  I've focused more on talking with teachers about stress and how rising stress may be at play in the behaviors of the children we're concerned, in whole classrooms, and in their own teaching practice and responses to children.  Some very fruitful conversations have come from this and it has helped some teachers reframe how they see children and themselves.

    I don't know if you or others find this viewpoint accurate or helpful.  But I wonder if focusing on this in supporting all staff might have more of an impact on teaching practice.  If you're interested, you might look at the work of Mona Delahooke.  She is very articulate and engaging and has wonderful video workshops available. 



    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-21-2022 03:08 PM
    Hi Cynthia,

    I'm sorry that you are having such a difficult time. Situations like these can put a lot of extra stress on directors. I'm the CEO of Bertelsen Education. We are based is Kansas City, Missouri. We offer online, self paced training as well as webinars and group training.

    I'd be happy to chat with you and see which of our courses could help your staff specifically.

    Feel free to reach out at justin@bertelseneducation.com.

    Talk soon,

    Justin Bertelsen

    ------------------------------
    Justin Bertelsen
    Founder
    Bertelsen Education
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-22-2022 07:08 AM
    Dear Justin,
    Thank you so much for the information.

    Sincerely,
    Cindy

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-22-2022 10:22 AM

    Hi Cindy,
     I realized that our new hires benefit  from a formal 90-day Onboarding program that I designed. It includes 12 weeks of spaced out online and face-to-face, classroom observation and on-the-job training. They are given bonuses after the first 2 weeks and again at the end of their 90 days. 

    This program has been very helpful for the new staff as well as our leadership team who embeds our culture overall. 

    If you are interested in learning more, feel free to reach out or visit www.Kylesbrightbeginnings.com.





    ------------------------------
    Alice Bradley
    CEO
    E & A Partners, LLC
    New Braunfels TX
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-22-2022 10:32 AM
    Dear Alice,
    Thank you for the information.  I appreciate the suggestions.  I always reevaluate or training program.  The staff participate in a 2-3 day training session with on-line courses, tours and meeting with me.  Once they enter the classroom, they are trained in the responsibilities for the specific classroom.  The past three employees that we have worked with, leave doors unlocked, window open, diapers are optional, etc.  The classroom teachers and I speak to them and they respond positively and then go back to not performing.  It is mind boggling.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-22-2022 02:21 PM
    HI Cindy,
    I look at performance problems by two criteria: 1) Could it be a training problem; 2) or a motivational problem on the part of the employee?
    However, at the base of all the criteria starts with the quality of candidates we hire. The hiring process is expensive, so we spend a lot of time during the interviewing, touring our facility and checking references. The applicant needs to convince us that they are a good fit. Thus, there are many who don't get through our hiring process, and we just keep recruiting, offering referral bonuses, and looking for people who really care about the children. So, if the new hire isn't working out, we let them go quickly. By keeping an employee who doesn't perform per our standards, it sends a wrong message to our current staff who are having to work harder to fix their mistakes.
    I hope this helps.
    Alice Bradley

    ------------------------------
    Alice Bradley
    CEO
    E & A Partners, LLC
    New Braunfels TX
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-22-2022 02:37 PM
    Thank you.  I wish we could let employees go at a quicker rate, but unfortunately, we have to keep some to maintain class ratios and staffing.  They are wonderful with the children, just not the "housekeeping" aspects.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 07-22-2022 03:32 PM
    Sounds like a motivation problem. If they should know what to do in their job (including cleaning and housekeeping tasks), then it may be time to ask them why they are not doing it. You may find that there are other things that are inhibitors to the task: lack of time, checklists are not being used properly, supplies are not easily accessible, etc. The closing process may need to be revised and retaught to all.
    It seems that we constantly have to Inspect what we Expect, right?

    ------------------------------
    Alice Bradley
    CEO
    E & A Partners, LLC
    New Braunfels TX
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 10-03-2022 01:15 PM
    Hi!  I am an early childhood professional development provider.  My courses are all online and self paced.  This is one suggestion I would give.  Some directors/owners choose courses for their staff.  Unfortunately, staff often just want to "get the hours" and don't really care about learning.  They choose what they think will be easy or even courses they have taken before.  If you choose the courses for your staff, you can be sure they are taking what is appropriate for their age group and areas where they may be weak.  Don't just put them all in a "one size fits all" class because it's convenient or free.  Be selective.  Spend your training dollars with care.  They are vital and can make a huge difference if spent wisely.

    ------------------------------
    Connie Turner
    Owner / Course Writer
    Bright Minds Training, LLC
    Independence KY
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 10-04-2022 04:02 PM
    I agree with Aren, in that people are unable to process information as they once did. This goes for parents as well. We have a door code that changes every year, but this year our parents just cannot seem to remember. So be as patient and supportive as you can, especially since you say that the teachers are really good with the children. Is there room in your budget to hire someone to help with these housekeeping tasks?

    ------------------------------
    Nina Burrows
    Preschool Director
    FUMC Preschool
    Fort Worth TX
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 10-04-2022 06:25 PM
    The housekeeping items are the basics for cleaning up after art projects, etc.  We are having difficulty hiring staff and I am in the classroom everyday.  It seems to be a vicious circle that doesn't look like it will end any time soon.  We had a cleaning crew, but the cleaning company fired the crew and have had not luck finding a new one.  Now, we have one more thing on the list that seems to never end.

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 10-16-2022 02:04 AM
    A checklist posted in the classroom was THE tool that helped me close my classroom when I worked at Early Head Start. Make sure your checklist is specific and has enough detail for staff to see if they've done it correctly. One of my closing tasks was to sanitize the room with bleach spray. The checklist reminded me to spray the teacher work space including counter, cupboard handles and the telephone. Without that specific instruction I would have concentrated on the play area and toys and never thought about the telephone.

    I suggest pairing new staff with more experienced staff and having the experienced staff member model the correct procedure, then observe/assist the new staff the next day. They may need this support for several days, or intermittently. Based on my experience with students as a lab teacher, just asking them if they have if they have completed the closing tasks will not be effective. Someone needs to check to see that it was actually done until it has become routine for the new staff. This means someone may need to work hours in addition to their normal hours. Make it a helpful, positive process in which expectations are clarified rather than punitive one. If staff think you are viewing them as dumb or lazy that won't help improve their behavior. It also helps if staff understand WHY/How the closing tasks affect the program and their peers. Good luck. Given your level of frustration, staying positive with your staff may be your biggest challenge!

    ------------------------------
    Loraine Dunn
    Provider
    Only Toddlers
    Norman OK
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Staff Training

    Posted 11-11-2022 03:11 PM
    Hey Cynthia,

    I actually clicked on this thread cause we have a few slots left in our training that we are just giving away for free. So definitely feel free to take them for your team! I'll post the information below.

    Also, I have found the best way to get training to stick it to actually role play it all out. During the training make sure it is super interactive and they have the opportunity to practice and get feedback. After training I offer these 3 things to support them in learning and implementing what has been taught.

    1. Watch a master - this is where they get to go and just observe another person doing the skill. This can be going into a well seasoned teacher classroom and not helping but just watching! Because practicing it with other adults in a training is fun but there is so much more to doing it in real life.

    2. Live Modeling - You actually model the skill in her classroom or with her clients / children. This will show them exactly how it should look as it pertains to their environment and children.

    3. Live Coaching - This is when the teacher is doing the skill and you are there to provide real time support and feedback. I explain this as a guardian angel who is on your shoulder giving you advise as you need it.

    I find that these things help solidify the training and learning.


    Best,
    Eli Mast



    ------------------------------
    Eli Mast
    CEO / CO-Founder
    Joint Early Learning Ideas, LLC
    Jurupa Valley CA
    ------------------------------