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The staff member might coordinate with other staff members to develop group training approaches as well as independent learning approaches.
This is the heart of the development program where training activities are conducted in a designated time frame. Generally all staff involved in this development plan will be required to establish and attain a designated set of objectives within a one year time frame. At the end of this period of time staff will be encouraged to develop new continuing education goals and pursue them relative to their job function. Cross training may also be utilized as a form of professional growth and development for members of the support staff.
The methods used to facilitate learning and development will vary depending on the objectives and goals for training that have been established by the supervisor and staff during the evaluation and planning sessions. Among the considerations will include the training budget.
The more commonly utilized methods of training for support staff will include the following methods:
on-the-job training- this is the more common method of training for support staff. This type of training will help staff learn to perform tasks associated with their job function in a productive and efficient manner. It is a simple form of training that allows hands on experience and the opportunity for instantaneous evaluation of employee's acquisition of job skills and abilities (Training, p. 462).
Off the job training- This type of training may include team development skills and diversity training that is vital to the success of all employees in all positions within the school district. Of particular importance to support personnel will be training that incorporates self-esteem development and personal development that recognizes the contribution that each support staff member makes to the school district team as a whole.
Independent Learning - All members of support staff will be encouraged to engage in independent learning. This may be in the form of classes or other activities that support professional development, online courses or development or mentoring programs. Independent learning objectives may be determined by each individual staff member and approved by their supervisor. Independent learning may also come from on the job experiences or critical evaluation of the job performance of other individuals in similar positions in other educational organizations.
During this phase staff members newly acquired skills and abilities might be surveyed and staff members have the opportunity to provide feedback regarding skills and training. The training programs decided upon will be implemented and support staff members will be monitored by their direct supervisors. Each staff member will have the opportunity to elicit feedback at any point in time and ask questions of their supervisor when appropriate. If changes need be made with regard to training these changes will be determined at this level of development training.
Sample Action Timeline
Attendees ics/Content Staff Development
Timeline for Completion
Staff Development Learning Tools
Support Staff (maintenance personnel, custodial staff, administrative support)
Off site conferences and training seminars
All staff members, principals, outside coaches
Job Specific on-the-job training
Individual mentoring and on-the-job training depending on specific job functions
Trained personnel and supervising staff
Self-Esteem and Personal Development
Mentoring, Group Team Meetings, Independent off site seminars
Mission and Vision
Team and group learning
On site All Staff
The follow up program or assessment and evaluation program is a vital component of any staff development plan. It is a method for directing future activities and professional development skills. Evaluation and assessment may be carried out in a number of ways. In a traditional academic setting evaluation and follow up occur via administration of formal or standardized testing. This form of assessment may not be applicable however to a majority of the training methods proposed in the above guidelines for support staff, with the exception of any formal training that support staff receive at a college or university. Therefore other methods of assessment and evaluation will be employed including utilization of an annual performance appraisal.
Each year support staff members will be offered a performance appraisal that will measure not only their overall job performance but also their progress toward achieving the goals they established at the start of the academic year. Support staff members will be given a rating of either satisfactory or unsatisfactory with regard to attainment of performance objectives. For staff members not achieving a level of satisfactory, additional training and mentoring will be offered. Disciplinary measures will not be devised unless it is shown that the staff member is not making a consistent effort at progressing with regard to their overall professional development.
Thus each member of the support staff will be evaluated and assessed on at minimum an annual basis, and no more than thirty days after completion of each separate development or training program, to determine whether or not the training received was adequate and beneficial.
Staff members will be asked to provide feedback on specific elements of training and learning objectives, and be encouraged to offer suggestions for improvement to future training programs. Support staff members will be asked to prepare a one page written summary of any training and development programs they participate in. Included in this summary should be a critical analysis of the format of the training program and recommendations for future improvement.
Each support staff member will also be asked to develop a minimum of two goals related to their performance for the following year. The goals will be linked to the overall mission and objectives of the school district.
Smith. (2001). "Smith Staff Development Plan." Smith Middle School Planning Team, 25, November 2004: http://www.chccs.k12.nc.us/smith/updates.curriculum/sdplan.htm
Training and Development for Support Personnel." Specific Processes in the Human
Resources Domain, Part III. Pp. 458-464[continue]
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