Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A "Hybrid" Model for Professional Development

By Sam Piha

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic afterschool programs were hit hard. Many had to close their youth programs and transition to serving their communities during the COVID shutdown. Many programs lost staff, and later suffered from a staffing shortage. They saw their budgets and attendance shrink and professional development efforts disrupted. 

The silver lining in all of this was the abundance of new distance/online professional development resources. According to many program leaders they are now seeking to hire many new staff that will need training on “youth work basics” - trainings that are foundational to youth work.

Program leaders are now thinking about using a “hybrid” model for professional development - a mixture of recorded/online training offerings and written briefing papers that can be shared with local staff. This is followed by on-site discussions facilitated by in-person leaders. This hybrid model can be tailored to the needs of the local program, be more relevant, intimate, inexpensive and COVID safe. 

Source: Spotlight: Girls

To support a hybrid approach we are developing a guide which identifies “youth work basics” training and other resources (recorded webinars, video presentations, briefing papers, blogs, etc.) with links for easy access. Topics include history of afterschool in America, youth development guide 2.0, learning in afterschool & summer learning principles, youth work fundamentals & literature reviews, social emotional learning and others. These were developed by Temescal Associates and The How Kids Learn Foundation. Also to be included are worksheets, discussion guides and other resources to support programs in leading their own professional development and reflection activities. We will release this new guide shortly.

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