Build knowledge through consistent messaging across all professional development opportunities
A story from Missouri
Many states hold multiple conferences and trainings throughout the year to share new and exciting information about emerging educational strategies with teachers, administrators, and health and physical educators.
In Missouri, school professionals have several statewide conferences available to them through professional associations such as Missouri SHAPE (MOSHAPE), Missouri National Education Association, and Missouri State Teachers Association. In addition to state conferences, Missouri Society of Health and Physical Educator’s (MOSHAPE) Quality Health and Physical Education training cadre provides professional development throughout the year. Finally, there’s a summer workshop and a fall leadership meeting for school wellness. This mix of conferences and trainings provide numerous opportunities for school professionals to learn from experts and from each other.
But how do you keep the momentum going following these events? We spoke with Dr. Sheri Beeler, Professor and Department Chair for Kinesiology at Missouri Southern State University, about the strategies used in trainings throughout the year in order to reinforce messages from state conferences and provide additional support to educators.
Share consistent messaging across all professional development opportunities. Dr. Beeler noted across all these opportunities, trainers reach diverse audiences. Therefore, across the state whenever possible, health and PE trainers connect to make sure their messages are consistent and build upon one another. She recalled:
“The information shared in the fall during conferences is reinforced during trainings that occur in the spring. For example, our training cadre’s health and PE professional development provides a good follow up to the state [MOAHPERD/MOSHAPE] convention, but we know that people who attend our spring professional development opportunities often didn’t go to convention. So, we recognize that this is a chance to reinforce what people learned at the MOAHPERD/MOSHAPE convention, while still making sure those who weren’t there can receive similar information and opportunities.”
Striving for consistent messaging across all professional development ensures that a statewide audience receives similar information.
Enlist a training cadre and other partners to get the message out. In Missouri, the Quality Health and Physical Education (QHPE) training cadre conducts much of the high-quality health and PE trainings. Dr. Beeler highlighted their role as she observed that “We all have the same script, we all have the same information and we tailor it to where we are and what needs to be prioritized. But the same information is going out in 11 different locations across the state.” She also emphasized the importance of having partners “help to get the message out to a variety of people who have roles within the schools and in higher education.” Some of the key partners with MOSHAPE include the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Health and Senior Services, Regional Professional Development Centers and School Nurses Association.