One Week Until Class 23!

They say time flies when you’re having fun, so I must be having a blast!  Pre-Service Training for Class 23 starts one week from today.  Preparation for our 11-day Pre-Service Training (PST) is a monumental task; there are toolbooks to update, edit, print, and compile (300 pages, my friends!), curricula to revise in a continuing effort to stay current and implement feedback, PowerPoint presentations to create, flip charts to prepare, logistics to manage…and it’s all totally worth it on that first day of PST.

Our training is a combination of intense workshops on volunteer management and exercises in communication, leadership, and teambuilding.  Each year it’s different, based on the knowledge, skills, abilities, and diversity of the class.  We’ve had AmeriCorps members ages 17 – 79; from Maryland, all over the US, and other countries; with high school diplomas and PhDs.  Our training simply can’t be one-size fits all.  It’s wonderfully dynamic – and challenging to implement.

How do you meet the needs of such a diverse group of people?  How do you make each workshop relevant?  There’s no easy answer here.  This year we’re trying some new things – including using prezi.com to demonstrate how we develop nonprofit partnerships.  We’re also using more video and, of course, keeping the workshops interactive.

One week until we start means just one week left of preparation.  I always want more time to prepare because, as good as our training is (and, though I’m biased, I think it’s really good), I know it can always be better.  So I’m up for input; what makes a great training?  What tools have you seen used to make workshops engaging?  How do you make a great training even better?

Let the ideas flow and let the countdown commence.  VM Class 23, we’re ready for you!!

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