Step 4: Deliver Your Training
At Illuminate we recognize that sometimes a district's budget and/or schedule does not allow for one of our representatives to visit sites to train your staff ourselves. Thus this "Trainer Toolkit" Chapter (and the lessons contained within) will walk you through the process of conducting a training session yourself.
Be sure to read the "Step 1: Gear Up for Your Training", "Step 2: Plan Your Training", and "Step 3: Set Up for Your Training" lessons before this one. This lesson addresses the fourth of five steps.
As Attendees Enter
Distribute handouts (early-arrivals can be a great help with this) so that you don't have to interrupt your training later to do this. This will also allow attendees to get acquainted with the materials as they wait for the training to begin (rather than serving as a source of distraction if newly passed out during your training).
Remember to be:
- slow enough for all levels of users to understand
- as jargon-free as possible (particularly if you have low-tech attendees)
Control the Tone
Do not let one "Negative Nelly" derail your training agenda and waste everyone's time. If necessary, remind your staff that you only have a set amount of time to provide all attendees with the scheduled training, and you want to be respectful of that time, so you will be happy to address Negative Nelly's issue after the training session, or at another time (one that others can attend, as well, if they have the same issue).
However, do not ignore an elephant in the room. If you learn that a large portion of the staff is feeling negative about the system because the school still hasn't delivered on its promise to provide them with document cameras or the district's Internet has been crashing a lot lately, address the issue at the onset of the training (briefly) to encourage attendees not to dwell on it. For example, you could say something like, "You might be thinking, 'Why would I put my assessments in this thing when I don't even have my camera yet to scan assessments?!' Well, we know the cameras will get here soon, and when they do you want to have this allotted training under your belt so you know what to do with them. Also, until the cameras get here, there is one in the staff lounge that any teacher can use, and I bought one online for $8 so I will help you scan in my classroom if you would prefer. Either way, you're going to have a way to scan students' tests, so let's move forward in getting you ready."
Whenever appropriate, engage your audience with humor, positivity, and energy.
Control the Focus and Time
Do not let one "Confused Craig" derail your training with questions that only pertain to him. This risk is especially present if your staff is following the training while on computers and/or if you have a particularly "low tech" staff. Here are some helpful strategies for helping Confused Craig in a way that does not ruin the rest of the class's experience:
- Pair Confused Craig with a patient teacher so they can keep pace with the rest of the class while still learning.
- When you demonstrate a multi-step task (e.g., finding and opening an assessment, creating a report and adding columns to it, etc.), have staff put down their mice until your demo is over. Remind participants of the steps you just took, then have them do the task themselves as you circulate and help as necessary.
- Let Confused Craig know that you will supply him with a one-on-one session during his conference period the following day, and invite him to follow along with a partner. That way he will not feel so anxious during the training and will use it as an opportunity to get acquainted with the product before his slower training session takes place.
Every Step of the Way
Be sure to:
- remind staff of ways in which Illuminate integrates with other efforts on campus (e.g., Response to Intervention grouping, achievement gap tracking, differentiated instruction, PLC projects, etc.) and with the school/district vision.
- focus on ways in which Illuminate helps students while also making teachers' lives easier (e.g., sharing efforts, saving time, etc.).
- show staff their time and attendance is appreciated, and make good use of that time and attendance.
- direct staff to the Help feature (always in the upper-right corner of the screen) where users can search for help on any topic.
- end the session with a reminder on what staff can now do, any administrator expectations related to that, and where to go for any needed help.
Now you are ready to read the "Step 5: Follow Up After Your Training" lesson.