Use these three creative training events the next time you want to wow your volunteers!
Too Many Hats Event
Your volunteers live frantic lives, juggling roles that often leave them frustrated. Let them know you understand. Several weeks before your training session, deliver a hat from a garage sale or novelty shop to each volunteer — one you encourage them to wear to your event. Include the agenda and an invitation to your Too Many Hats event.
- Training content: Possibilities include time management tools, class management techniques, or priority and goal setting help.
- Activity: Provide fabric scraps, glue, scissors, and construction paper. Have volunteers decorate their hats in a way that reflects the roles in life they find most challenging. Have pairs pray for each other.
- Hint: Have extra hats on hand for those who forget to bring theirs.
Pieced Together Event
Do all your volunteers feel important…and involved? Teachers who’ve been off in their rooms for months may feel isolated, drained, and out of the loop. Develop a team spirit, and invite evaluation with this training event.
Gift-wrap individual pieces of a paper quilt pattern and deliver one piece to each volunteer. With each piece, include an agenda and encourage teachers to color and bring their quilt piece to your event.
- Training content: Focus on team-building, the body of Christ, or the importance of various children and adults in the Christian education process.
- Activity: When volunteers arrive, have them patch their quilt together. Have quilt pieces with the same design determine small groups for a later discussion/prayer time.
- Hint: Have duplicate pieces. If everyone doesn’t show up, you’ll still be able to complete the puzzle.
Come As You Are Event
Call your volunteers at various times of the day — at the office, over the weekend, near bedtime — and invite them to your event. The catch: They must come precisely as they’re dressed when you make phone contact with them. With few exceptions, this will be possible. Award prizes for the most unusual attire, most relaxed, most formal, and the one that took the most courage to wear.
- Training content: Stress the importance of accepting individual children as they are, various learning styles, or team teachers’ complementary gifts.
- Activity: In small groups, ask volunteers to guess when and where group members were when phone contact was made. Report great stories to the larger group.
- Hint: Be flexible if necessary in enforcing your rule!