Share This Post

Staff Leadership and Management

Rich Professional Development for Little Expense

computer professional development

When professional development opportunities are cost-prohibitive, administrators are often challenged to create innovative methods to further develop and support their staff.

In my experience, professional development and learning opportunities for staff are the most important ingredients leading to strong leadership and effective organizations.

Below are three cost-efficient ways for any organization to maximize the potential of their staff:

1. Use the Internet. There is an extraordinary amount of free information on the Internet that has become available to many businesses and organizations focused on professional development.

a) Ask individual members of your staff to noodle around and find an article once a month that pertains to the work being done in your organization.

b) Have them share this article with the larger group at the staff meeting.

c) Create a short list of questions that can be used for each article, so that staff knows what to expect and can be prepared for discussion. Example: What did you read about? What moved you about the content? How did it apply to our work? How can you integrate it into our work?

2. Empower Your Staff. Encourage them to make decisions on what they think will help support and grow the organization in order to sustain a quality program.

a) Create committees to work on continuous improvement to support the work.

b) Have the committees be responsible for sharing their findings at staff meetings and with each other on a regular basis.

c) Enable staff to implement the results in the organization so that the work is incorporated.

restaurant professional development

3. One-on-one ‘lunch and learn’! Get together with a colleague and share a conversation and a resource.

This is what happened at the BOOST Conference. I was casually chatting with a former colleague, someone I worked with over 13 years ago. Since then both of us have ‘moved on’ and are now in higher positions, but still have a strong desire to impact youth — we have grown, but the mission remains the same. We began having a discussion about transformation, education, program impact and sustainability, authentic progress, and organizational leadership. One idea after another came out of our mouths like a fire-hose bursting with water.

We began sharing resources that we had been exposed to inside our own organizations for personal and professional growth. After a rich and impactful conversation in the hotel lobby, a lightbulb flashed: Why not meet once a month and continue to share resources with each other! Like a ‘lunch and learn’ for just two. We wanted to create a space for us to broaden each other’s practice and further support each other in our present roles. It helped that we had already built a foundation.

But any individual who has an authentic concern and care for his/her work can establish a ‘mini-professional development session.’ Just connect with an old (or a new) colleague and share ideas, resources and opportunities for the betterment of the cause. The mission in this case: Changing the lives of youth.

For breakfast, I keep having the same protein shake I posted about on my last blog!

Author Profile: @juliagabor

Share This Post

Profile Photo
In 2014, Julia was awarded the Women Making a Difference by U.S. Senator of California Lou Correa for her contributions in youth programming in Orange County, CA. In, 2013 Julia received the OSTI award from BOOST for her contribution to out-of-school time individuals by providing innovative approaches to support students, families and communities. Julia currently develops tailored training's and facilitates workshops for educators, non-profit organizations, mentor professionals and students. She works with you to create strategies for educational programs to enhance student success and a productive future. She also will establish effective practices for staff communication and leadership. As the Director of Education at WRiTE BRAiN WOLRD Julia is built, expanded and introduced the WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS curriculum into education communities across the country. WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS inspires creativity while applying project- based literacy and builds 21st Century skills. In only two and a half years WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS is being implemented in 41 states with 45,000 student becoming published authors of their own children’s book. While at the Tiger Woods Foundation (TWF), Julia launched a college internship program for sports management, hospitality, event planning and marketing majors from universities across the country. Julia develops specialized programs ranging from activity based curriculum in a variety of different educational areas to creating a collegiate mentor program. Starting in 2006, Julia managed a national character education program called- Tiger's Action Plan, a free youth development curriculum that focuses on leadership, goal setting, service learning and career exploration. Prior to joining TWF, Julia was a Coordinator for the After School All - Stars in Los Angeles, where she taught a range of middle school enrichment classes- from personal leadership to sports, to performance and visual art classes. Julia has been teaching/leading groups since she was a teenager working alongside her mother, who is an acting teacher and coach in the USA and Europe. Julia has served as a trainer/facilitator in disguised learning and cultural diversity throughout California. In 2009, Julia received the Honored Educator Award from California State Fullerton University for dedication to education in Orange County, CA. Miss Gabor is a graduate of the State University of New York, Fredonia receiving her bachelor's degree in the Fine Arts. She received her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Antioch University in 2012.

Leave a Reply