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Training and Professional Development

I first discovered I was good at engaging an audience as a campus tour guide in college. When I aced a series of class presentations and debates in grad school, I knew this was a skill I wanted to put to use.

Of course, being a good trainer or professional development facilitator is not just about speaking well or getting a group of people to listen. It’s also about facilitating discussion and group activities, listening actively, and “reading” the energies and needs of the group. After all, the best classes are the ones where the facilitator is not doing most of the talking!

Here are some highlights of my training/facilitation career:

  • Traveled throughout the United States to lead professional development workshops for NewsBank’s online curriculum platform.
  • Facilitated groups of up to 30 teachers and staff in 8-week mindfulness and emotional intelligence classes through the PassageWorks Institute.
  • Led online training sessions for new facilitators in PassageWorks’ SMART-in-Education program.
  • Coached individuals in-person and online in career development skills.
  • Trained businesspeople and K-12 teachers and administrators on Microsoft Office and Internet skills.

I didn’t get much video footage of myself in these roles – I was too focused on the work itself to record myself doing it! But here are two video clips that show me in front of an audience:

 

  1. Here I am giving a mini-talk about some bird characteristics. I created this homemade video for a project that asked me to teach something scientific to the audience. (I know it cuts off the top of my head – I’m working on that!)

2. And this is a brief segment from a mindfulness class I taught for the Jefferson County (Colorado) School District. We had just finished an exercise that involves eating a raisin very slowly. The video and audio quality are poor, but I’m showing this to demonstrate that I can build rapport with a group. (To protect their privacy, the group isn’t pictured – there were about 15 participants).