The Development Divide: America’s Under-Trained Educators

It takes a village to educate a child, and classified employees are important vertebrae to the backbone of most school districts. They are responsible for a wide range of important tasks that keep schools running smoothly, such as cleaning, maintenance, transportation, food service, and office administration. Yet despite their crucial role, classified staff often receive little or no professional development, leaving them without the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs effectively. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of training classified school personnel and the benefits that it can bring to both employees and schools.

First and foremost, training classified school personnel is essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of students. For example, custodians and maintenance staff are responsible for maintaining clean and safe facilities, including classrooms, hallways, and restrooms. Without proper training, they may not know how to properly sanitize and disinfect surfaces, leading to the spread of germs and illness among students and staff. Similarly, bus drivers and transportation staff need to be trained in safety procedures and defensive driving techniques to ensure that students are transported safely to and from school.

Furthermore, training can improve the quality of services provided by classified employees. Food service workers, for example, need to be knowledgeable about nutrition, food safety, and meal planning to provide healthy and tasty meals to students. Receptionists and administrative assistants need to be trained in customer service and communication skills to provide friendly and efficient service to parents, students, and staff. With proper training, classified staff can perform their jobs more effectively, leading to greater satisfaction among students, parents, and staff.

Training can also enhance the job satisfaction and retention of classified school personnel. When employees receive training and professional development opportunities, they feel valued and supported by their employer. This, in turn, can lead to increased job satisfaction, motivation, and loyalty to the school district. Additionally, training can help employees develop new skills and knowledge, leading to opportunities for career advancement within the district.

Investing in the training and professional development of classified staff can also have financial benefits for school districts. When employees are properly trained, they are more productive and efficient in their work. This can lead to cost savings for the district, as employees are able to complete their tasks more quickly and effectively. Additionally, well-trained staff are less likely to make mistakes or cause accidents, which can lead to costly lawsuits and insurance claims.

There are many different types of training that can be provided to classified school personnel, depending on their specific job duties and needs. For example, custodians and maintenance staff may need training in cleaning and sanitizing procedures, building maintenance, and safety procedures. Food service workers may need training in nutrition, food safety, and meal planning. Receptionists and administrative assistants may need training in customer service, communication skills, and office technology.

In addition to traditional classroom training, there are many other ways to provide professional development opportunities to classified staff. Online training modules, webinars, and self-directed learning programs can all be effective ways to provide training and support to employees. In some cases, it may also be beneficial to provide on-the-job training or mentoring programs, where experienced employees can provide guidance and support to new hires.

In conclusion, training classified school personnel is essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of students, improving the quality of services provided by classified staff, enhancing employee job satisfaction and retention, and providing financial benefits to school districts. By investing in the training and professional development of classified employees, schools can create a more skilled and productive workforce, leading to greater success for students and staff alike.

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