Some of our favorite preschool professional development days came after we hired a trainer and they trained us in-house. Help your teachers continue their professional development by using some of the ideas we’ve done below.
Taught by Teachers
Create a teacher-taught professional development schedule and invite each of your teachers to teach for 20 minutes at the end of each monthly staff meeting. They will each share their favorite preschool tips.
You’ll need to ask each teacher to prepare before-hand. Be sure to take a turn yourself! I found these short, 20-minute sessions to be the most rewarding and useful professional development I have ever offered my teachers. In addition, our teachers were always amazed by the caliber of teachers they had around them and were more open to collaborating.
Taught by Trainers
You can also create a 4-hour professional development training day (you can even cancel school that day without refunding tuition if you build it into your school calendar where you call it your “Teacher Training Day.”)
During this training, find out which topic the teachers want to learn the most that will benefit them during the school year. I like to ask them at the end of September, because by then they know what problems they are experiencing in their classrooms that they still need additional assistance on. Then I like to do the training in October.
You can either find a class in your community that fits the topic, or you can hire an expert on the topic to train your teachers. I prefer the 2nd option, as I can tailor the session exactly to what my teachers need, and we get the trainer’s 100% focus (instead of him/her also talking to other teachers in a local class setting).
You can find these experts by searching online for ones in your area. Some experts I have paid to train my teachers include experts in:
- Handwriting Without Tears
- Love and Logic
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Behavioral Specialists.
I have found $50 per person to be an appropriate fee when hiring experts. So if my expert was training 5 of us (including me), then I would pay him/her $250 for the 4-hour session.
At the end, we would ask the expert to provide a certificate of 4-hour training; if the trainer doesn’t have a certificate, you can print off a generic one, copy it, and ask the trainer to fill out and sign one for each teacher.
Be sure to include the following information on the certificate. (That way you can use your in-house professional development training hours toward your licensing requirements as well.)
- Your name (or teacher’s name)
- Topic that relates to preschool
- # of hours of training
- Trainer name
- Trainer signature
- Trainer phone # or website
I hope these ideas about how to hire a trainer for preschool professional development were helpful to you!