Checking my inbox, I find the following email:
I am the Director of Curriculum in a small, suburban school district in Indiana. We have a professional learning day for our teachers and staff scheduled for February 13th. Someone recommended you as a speaker. Would you be available to provide us with some training that day? If so, please let me know your fee and what topics you could provide.
Red flags immediately pop up in my mind. Is this day just filler? Do they have any direction? Why is this so last minute?
I know that my ability to be effective as a facilitator of adult learning is based, in part, on having content that addresses an actual need of my participants. If the boss is simply trying to fill a six hour time slot with someone who is entertaining, then the odds of making a meaningful impact on their work are pretty low.
What would be better? I always hope that the agency has already done a thorough needs analysis before they call me. Then, in discussions, we decide if the learning objectives they articulate match the expertise I have to offer. But because this is not always the case, I am prepared with a list of questions to clarify the need. As we talk, I quickly evaluate which questions are most appropriate to the situation and add or delete on the fly.
Here are 7 that I think are essential.
For additional questions to guide your training design and delivery, go to Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Deliver Rich, Robust Professional Training.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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