From the Director
For those of you who were not at the trainer's meeting in May, I would like to give you an update on changes in the structure and functions within the Institute.
We have three new positions that have replaced our Training Director and Associate Training Director roles. Charlene Urwin, University of Texas at Austin, has assumed the function of Curriculum Director to go along with being Site Manager and in charge of special projects. In that role, she chairs the Curriculum Team and has general oversight over the training content that we present. Charlene works closely with me in developing plans with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) each year.
Vicky Hina, University of Texas at Arlington, is the new Manager of Certification and Trainer Development. She will be working closely with faculty in developing and evaluating workshops offered to all program areas within DFPS. And, as you can see from her title, she also has oversight of certification for all program areas.
Gail Tittle has joined the staff at the University of Houston PSTI office as the Manager of Curriculum Development. She will be responsible for keeping all of our scripted curricula up to date and developing new ones as needed. She joins us from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where she authored best practice papers on a variety of child welfare subjects.
Our quarterly newsletter, Protection Connection, has been converted to an online format. Jason McCrory has taken over as editor from Charlene Urwin, who had been the editor since its inception over 10 years ago. Jason and Susan Ayers-Lopez, who is continuing with the newsletter, have just finished the second online issue, focusing on resiliency. Brenda Hinojosa, our very talented distance learning specialist, has put the first two issues on the agency's Intranet.
Although the agency has undergone some significant changes in the past year, our work with them continues in much the same manner as before. For FY2005 starting in September, we anticipate deliverables related to worker and supervisor training, certification services for all four program areas, evaluation of the CPS BSD program, the online Protection Connection quarterly, and several new training endeavors for supervisors. Jane Norwood remains our primary contract liaison and has recently taken on a new role as the Director of the Center for Policy, Innovation, and Professional Development reporting to DFPS Deputy Commissioner Karen Eells.
As more changes occur, I will keep you posted through this newsletter. We are all looking forward to a new and exciting year of training with DFPS. I want to thank each of you for the work that you do with us on behalf of children and families in Texas.--Marcia Sanderson
Innovative Introductions For Larger and/or Already Acquainted Groups
- Show of Hands
- Since going around the room for individual introductions can be time consuming, taking up the "first" part of the session and most adults remember what happens first and last, consider the "show of hands" introduction to get an idea of who is in your audience...
- How many people from CPS? APS? CCL? SWI?
- How many supervisors? Workers? Other?
- How many In-homes, Facility, Guardianship? (APS only)
- How many people with less than 2 years with agency? More than 2 years? 5 years?
- Skip and Mingle
- NO, this does NOT require you to SKIP!! SKIP going-around-the-room introductions and MINGLE as participants arrive.
- Try to meet everyone individually as they arrive.
- Introduce yourself, ask what program and unit type they are with.
- Break It Up
- Instead of going around the room all at once with introductions,
- Do them one table at a time throughout the day
- Before breaks, after breaks, and if a table volunteers to go first.
- Why Did They Come?
- If you like to go around the room and do introductions
- Ask participants to think of 2-3 topics they hope to discuss today.
- Have participants introduce themselves at their table only and hear everyone’s ideas.
- Ask the table to pick one idea and then record these on flip chart as you do introductions from that table.
- Important Papers
- Pass around a roll of toilet paper and tell them to take only as many squares as they think they will need (remember to smile).
- After everyone takes some, you should too.
- Ask them to find 2 people they don’t know, meet them and for every square you took tell them something you already know about today’s topic and something you hope to learn.
- Give 3-5 minutes for this.
- On a flip chart with 2 columns, ask for volunteers to share things they know and things they hope to discuss.
- 90/20/8 Rule
- Keep training modules to 90 minutes
- Change the pace every 20 minutes
- Involve people every 8 minutes
- Retention Rule
- 10% of what we read
- 20% of what we hear
- 30% of what we see
- 50% of what we hear AND see
- 90% of what we say AND do
- Recall Rule
- Read these numbers aloud: 6, 9, 12, 4, 14, 7, 5, 8, 11. Without looking, can you recall the 1st number? the last? The middle?
- 95% recall the 1st number
- 65-90% recall the last
- 20% recall the middle SO… people will most remember what we say first and last in training!! Think of ways to increase retention for that “middle” information.
- Design relevant Content – 5-7 minutes
- Allow for Participation – 10-12 minutes
- Find ways to Review and reinforce the material throughout the day – 2-3 minutes
- 30% of the training should be trainer led or driven
- 70% of the training should be participant led or driven
- Summary Review
- One way to reinforce information throughout the day is by continually summarizing.
- Orally and visually repeat key concepts already presented.
- Involve the participants in reviewing the information for each other.
- Practice applying the key information.
- Action Idea Page Review
- Take "action idea" breaks.
- Ask people to jot down 2-3 things they know they've already learned, enjoyed or will try back on the job.
- If they seem bored, get them moving with this too – ask them to get up and share their ideas with 2 people not at their table.
- Make it a competition for the participant who lists the most ideas each time and/or throughout the session. Award a small prize.
- Koosh Ball Review
- This can be done at the end of the day, but could also be done in the middle of the afternoon or after lunch. Often at the end of the day people are less likely to WANT to engage in activities.
- Ask everyone to stand.
- Give one person a koosh ball and ask them to describe one thing they’ve learned, enjoyed or will try.
- Remind them it can be something they’ve learned from another participant.
- They say their one thing and then get to pass the koosh.
- Art Gallery Review
- Give each table a piece of flip chart paper.
- Ask them to do a review of today's training without using any words! Emphasize artistic ability is not needed.
- Have them hang flip chart when they are done. Pick one person to stay with flip chart. Ask all others to visit "the gallery" and see what everyone else did. The trainer should circulate also.
- Ask people to "relieve" the person at their flip chart so they can look around also.
- Certificate Review
- This requires writing in the name on the training certificate prior to the end of the session.
- Give each person a certificate (not their own).
- Trainer keeps one certificate and begins with that participant.
- Ask them to state one thing they learned, enjoyed or will try from today's training.
- Have them give the certificate to the person it belongs to. That person goes next and so on.
- Trainer should participate at the end with something they learned from the participants.
Coping with Challenging Participants
- The Two Talking Friends
- At the beginning of the training ask people to keep side conversations to a minimum.
- Acknowledge that these conversations are often about the topic and it would benefit all to hear their comments - please share.
- The Terrible Table
- At the beginning of the session ask for a volunteer from each table to be the "Side Conversations Security".
- Tell these people they will be helping you keep conversations down and keep people listening.
- The Silly Ones
- Observed in a PSTI Training...a participant who talked and acted silly put on a pair of large eyeglasses from the table toys and just kept them on.
- When trainer noticed - she smiled and invited everyone "to take just a minute and look at something funny."
- Everyone laughed and then he took them off.
- The Pesky Participants
- Try to address disruptive participants early on.
- First try gentle reminders about side conversations.
- Use body language by making eye contact, followed by walking toward them.
- The Deadly Deed
- Occasionally participants get so disruptive as to be interfering with others' experience in the training. These are times when we must directly approach these individuals specifically.
- Do so on breaks so as not to embarrass them.
- Ask for their help and ask for their agreement.
- Assign them to be observers for the session and report at the close of training.
- Then thank them.
- Divide and Conquer
- When it's evident early in the session that a particular table or group is chatty, be proactive.
- Do a small group activity by mixing up the tables.
- Have the participants stay at those tables.
- Or continue moving everyone periodically through the session.
- The PSTI website provides certification information for all programs and the PSTI training schedule. Refer all certification questions to be sure staff gets accurate information for certification requirements.
- The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website contains information about APS, CCL, CPS and SWI. Annual reports with statistics are available. Refer students here looking for job opportunities in DFPS.
- Subscribe to FREE e-newsletters with information for trainers. Learn about conferences for trainers and submit proposals. See specifically the articles “How to Present Training with Impact” and “Make Adult Learning Come to Life” under the Learning Links section.
- See various trainings and materials offered. Many PSTI Practitioner Trainers have attended some of these workshops and have materials.
- Dave Meier’s Accelerated Learning Center website. Offers resources, products, training, and curriculum development courses. Newsletter with articles on training techniques. Lists helpful websites and international conferences. All three university PSTI offices have course activity books that trainers may utilize.
- National Staff Development and Training Association. Offers an excellent conference for trainers and inexpensive publications.
- Check out the publications section. "The Buzz" links can connect you to many full text archive articles on training news.
- Focuses on training equipment, but also has information on training delivery and PowerPoint. Includes information on speaking tips, audience, room, and training trends. TIP: Often tips for PowerPoint are good tips for handouts and overheads as well.
- Published 3 times a year by The David and Lucille Packard Foundation to disseminate information on issues that impact the lives of children. Articles online or full issues mailed on all topics. FREE to subscribe and FREE mailing.
- Contains research and resources on foster care issues, a newsletter, articles in both summary and full text format, and position papers.
- Ann Hermann-Nehdi's Whole Brain Teaching and Learning website. Information on products and services, certification as Whole Brain Teachers, workshops, and case studies. Focuses on business/organization applications but some case studies are applicable.
Quick Application of Quotes
- Use a relevant, unique or humorous quote or anecdote to open your workshop
- “What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand.” -- Confucius 451 B.C.
- “The more you say, the less people remember.” -- Francois Fenelon
- Use quotes at the bottom of a handout. This quote might be relevant to supervisor/manager workshops.
- “Never confuse activity with productivity.” -- Unknown
- Nursery rhymes and Dr. Seuss books can provide quotes relevant to your trainings.
- “Good, better, best. Never rest till ‘good’ be ‘better’ and ‘better’ be ‘best’.” -- Mother Goose
- Use quotes to challenge the group to try new things in best practice, even when it’s hard.
- “We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” -- John F. Kennedy on going to the moon
- Use quotes to introduce training rules like keeping side conversations to a minimum and listening when fellow participants talk.
- “Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Familiar movie lines make good quotes. This one might be used to stress the uniqueness in each client situation or the ability to respond positively to change.
- “Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re going to get.” -- Forrest Gump
- Use quotes on flip charts or posters around the room to emphasize key points throughout the day. This one might be good for supervisor training applicable to how we transition people into management positions.
- “You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he is willing to climb himself.” -- Andrew Carnegie
- Use humorous quotes and anecdotes as tension or tedium relievers or to help participants re-focus after a break or activity.
- “Reality is the leading cause of stress for those who are in touch with it.” -- Anonymous
- Place quotes in your overhead presentation. Use a relevant quote to summarize the close of the training day.
- “It’s not difficult to do the right thing. What’s difficult is determining the right thing to do and once we determine that, it’s difficult to NOT do the right thing.” -- heard at the end of an ethics workshop
Trainer's Meeting Feedback
Thanks to all of those who participated and provided feedback at the Annual Trainer’s Meeting, “Dare To Be Different,” held in Austin on May 21, 2004. The overall meeting evaluation received a 4.3 rating. We appreciate the many positive comments and constructive feedback.