At the beginning of April, my district's Early Literacy Task Force, of which I am a member, offered a three-hour training to give children's staff some hands-on experience with the revised ECRR. Staff saw a sample workshop for parents; had time to practice creating and sharing early literacy statements; and brainstormed program formats and ideas with colleagues. I facilitated the programming portion of the training:
A bit more info on my workshop session:
All attendees were asked to bring with them 5 copies of a program plan or outline that is their favorite or has been successful in implementation. For the final hour of the training, then, we focused on our story times--nothing abstract, but our programs over which we have ownership. We talked broadly about what we like and don't like, and then we broke into small groups to swap program plans and ideas. The conversations centered around engagement and the five early literacy practices, and attendees left with a myriad of ideas for new program elements, themes, activities, and formats.
Based on conversations I've since had with attendees, this programming workshop has encouraged staff think outside of the box of what they usually do for story time; now there is more focus on what else we can add to support writing, per se, or to engage caregivers as well as kids. I'm excited to see what our district story times look like over the next few months as the training ideas make their way into program plans.
What sort of programming training, if any, do you offer your children's staff? Do staff continue to have program training and idea-swapping throughout the course of their employment, or is training mostly limited to time of hire?