Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I never wanted to be a teacher

I had a really great day at work today. I'm still getting over whatever invaded my body over the weekend and I had some serious thinking to do today, so I did my best to become absorbed enough in my work that I could get the job done while also trying to forget about how awful I felt. Amazingly, I managed to accomplish both of those things today.

I am working on training courses for my employees, because many of them are lacking in some basic skills. I have lots of training experience but not in the area of computer skills, so it's a bit challenging for me. Bunny and I scheduled ourselves out of the office today and closed ourselves in the conference room with my library books, a pot of coffee, and the projector. We brainstormed and read and talked ourselves through an outline for training others on computer navigation and exploring, and we've got something pretty damn cool.

Work is rather slow lately; the daily work for the majority of my employees is generated from dealerships who repair heavy duty trucks, and Winter is traditionally the slowest time of year for us. I have lamented the extreme lack of basic computer skills among my staff for a long time, and our low work volume allows for a lot of down time lately.

So, I'm offering training courses. They will be voluntary, folks can choose to attend or not as they wish. I will reward those who take the initiative to learn more; those who choose not to learn more will experience the consequence of that choice when I conduct their annual performance evaluation.

I am looking forward to holding these training courses, even though I do not feel terribly confident in my training abilities these days. I like the idea of doing something a little different, and of pushing myself beyond my current comfort zone. I feel like one thing I really need to change right now at work is the level and context of interaction with my staff. I'm still trying to find my momentum with staff meetings, and I think these training courses will teach me something too.

I was the trainer for my department years ago, and I got pretty good at it out of sheer repetition, but I don't feel like a good trainer. I don't have the right temperament for teaching others and I lack patience. Anyone can demonstrates the steps to accomplish a task but it takes someone patient and understanding and kind to really teach others well. I have some doubts about how successful I'll be, but I'm excited to try this and see how I do!

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