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New Targeted Professional Development on Observations and Difficult Conversations

New content now available to strengthen program leader’s practices

As mentioned in our 2022 Q2 Newsletter, VLS launched a new content type earlier this year for our military affiliated logged-in users: Targeted Professional Development (TPD). TPD encompasses a variety of brief, comprehensive trainings on topics that are curated from across the existing Virtual Lab School site. These TPD offerings can fulfill several different requirements including (1) DoDI 6060.02 annual training requirements (2) specialized professional development, and (3) supplemental training. 

In collaboration with the Department of Defense and Service Leadership we've identified topics supportive of program leaders. Already available are topics on Supportive Partnerships: Communication & Collaboration with T&CSs, Staff Supervision: Performance Reviews to Support Program Quality, and Developing a Strong Team: Best Practices for Hiring & Onboarding New Staff.

Now we're happy to announce two new TPD modules are now available to program leaders: Quality Observations: Leadership’s Role and Navigating Difficult Conversations with Staff or Families.  Program leaders can access these and all other TPD content via their Progress Dashboards. Additional TPD trainings will be made available to other roles in the future.

Quality Observations: Leadership’s Role

The Program Manager’s ability to conduct objective, formal and informal observations of staff and the environment is essential for learning the strengths and needs of the program. The new Targeted Professional Development, Quality Observations: Leadership’s Role, highlights what high-quality, objective observations look like, how program leaders collect and use observations, systems for planning observations, and why observations are critical for ensuring program quality.

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Staff or Families

Program Managers are often faced with difficult conversations that can vary in topic and impact. Building trusting, positive relationships is essential to effectively navigating difficult conversations and will contribute to the continuous development of the team and strength of the program community. If facilitated successfully, these types of conversations can strengthen relationships and build trust throughout a program.  Navigating Difficult Conversations with Staff or Families, highlights key relationship-based strategies for Program Managers to appropriately engage in difficult conversations with staff members and families.