Setting Up to Succeed

I’m not talking about the children here today, I’m talking about the teachers.  This is a post for administrators/site supervisors/directors.

We have a policy in our agency in which, an a new employee’s first day, they spend a full day in training with me, the program trainer.  We are working on making this a several day option, but for right now, it’s one day of intense training.

Since we have begun this new program, we have seen a huge increase in the quality of our classrooms and our program, and a huge decrease in staff turn over.

What we do is start everyone off on the right foot.  Sure, it can, at times, feel like a long day; but it is worth it for everyone.

The first thing we go through is our employee handbook and policies and procedures for the agency in general.  We talk about work ethic, team work, and how to support the agency.

At the same time, we talk about how integral they are to our program.  We talk about the type of support we provide for them, what to expect from their reviews (which is to expect to be part of this process and no surprises and a time in which they will be supported to become better in the areas they need/want to improve), and how to use the introductory period to their advantage (using it as a time to learn about the position and to get help and support to learn their new position fully).

Once we finish up with the handbook, we move onto classroom policies.  In this part of the day (which takes the second half) we discuss only those things that they will need for the first couple of weeks.  We talk about discipline because, let’s be honest, they’ll probably find themselves using discipline within the first 20 minutes into the classroom.  We talk about our food program.  Then we talk about our program goals and philosophy.

This gives them a great foundation to start their new job.  They have a great success and know what to expect and what is expected from them for their first couple of weeks.

After a week or two, depending on my schedule, I return to the new employee and follow up with more training.  For everyone, we talk about observations and collecting evidence for the assessments.  For assistant teachers we follow up with more discipline and answer any questions that have come up that maybe they haven’t been able to ask yet.

For teachers, we add training on completing assessments and tying those into their lesson plans. 

What this does is allow even more support for everyone and sets everyone up to succeed.  It’s really a great thing that has happened and I would highly encourage everyone to think about creating a training program for all new employees.

How do you set your staff up to succeed?

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