There’s No Place Like HOPE…..Part 2

For this next blog post, I want to take you through more steps we will take in the HOPE plan to achieve our finished results. To continue, we might also take a look at what I describe as two tracks for learning. For everyone involved, all of our HOBY volunteers should decide early on what pathway they want to embark on. Upon the recommendation of Curtis White, I have decided to align this professional learning plan into a two-track system that allows all of our seminar staff to choose their preferred speed of learning. The “fast track” system begins at the training institute, and then the course will be complete in just under six meetings. The “slow track” system begins at the training institute and will take 12 meetings to complete. If one of our volunteers goes into the “fast track” and decides that they learn slower, they can switch tracks after the third or fourth meeting as the content will change. The diagram below illustrates these two tracks in action.


When we think of these two learning tracks, we have to take a look at our BHAG, or Big, Hairy Audacious Goal for HOBY. In this case:

  • Our learners will learn about and implement a software training program in their seminar sites

From here, we should begin to think about how a two-track system might come into play for everyone who is involved. I now want to show you my three-column table that illustrates the activities we would use to showcase a training program of this type.


As you can see, the main goal of this program is very comprehensive, and I want to take it to the next level. “Mixer brainstorming,” will be enriched into the curriculum in each meeting by requiring that each learner participate in activities with someone that they had previously not work with before. “Reflecting” by “walking and talking” will get our volunteers to focus on their experiences and how they can make their seminar better.


Each of these sessions will be lead by an instructor on the training staff of the Training Institute, then, as time goes on, our learners will have the opportunity to take lead roles in the training as they become more advanced in the process. For example, the instructor at TI would start the process, lead the first five meetings, then he or she could appoint another instructor from a seminar site to lead the discussions and activities in meetings six to 12 as a means of sharing ideas with other seminar sites. The number of meetings you would have would depend on the amount of help needed at the seminar. The original instructor would help in the background if problems arose, but take a lesser role as the appointed seminar instructor would take the lead. This model would foster more collaboration and sharing of ideas among seminar staff and various seminar sites.

As the HOPE plan rolls out, the next dilemma that has to be decided is what the schedule will look like. Each meeting will take place at a location agreed upon by the administration, with the option to tune-in online via Skype. This plan will roll out over an entire seminar year, which means that meetings will begin at TI, and then take place over the succeeding months. The timeline that I have in mind looks like this:

  • August of seminar year—Meeting 1
  • September of seminar year – Meeting 2
  • October of seminar year – Meeting 3
  • November of seminar year – Meeting 4
  • December of seminar year – Meeting 5
  • January of seminar year -Meeting 6
  • February to July of seminar year (if necessary) – Meetings 7 to 12


So, from here, we next need to decide what resources will be necessary. There are not that many, and I planned things that way so that seminar sites using a shoestring budget could do so on the money that they have. Some support may have to come from HOBY’s main office, though. In brief, the resources list looks like this:

  • Physical resources – Laptop computer for instructor, digital projector, tablet for each learner, possible video recorders for seminar group learners
  • Digital resources—Blackboard, ActiveCollab, Voxer, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Upon looking at the future, the next challenge becomes getting people onboard to engage with these ideas. I am optimistic for HOBY to have a bright future, and I think that this is a step in the right direction. I plan to foster self-directed learning at HOBY by giving our volunteers all of the support they will need. We will also have to get everyone to use the “growth mindset” to foster a continued spirit of collaboration. If our staff feel inspired by the success of other volunteers and seminar sites in our organization, they will most likely feel more encouraged to blaze a trail along the same path. This results in more volunteers loving the work they do at HOBY. In my case, I am prepared for a hard sell, but this plan is truly something that can bring HOPE to all involved.

Self-directed learning can be the end accomplishment that carries this whole process forward. I am looking forward to the next phase, which is getting everyone to see my vision for our organization. If we all work together, the professional learning process can be as bright and big as the legacy that began our organization. Our organization has one important resource that many businesses probably only dream about: well-dedicated people! It is through this process that we can all realize what we can do when we believe in something. HOPE is a powerful statement to win over the hearts and minds of everyone at HOBY. It is with this powerful wind that I want to embark to get people to see this vision. HOPE is my chance to bring hope to HOBY seminar sites in despair. The big questions to us is: what will we do with the gifts we have been given? The future of HOBY professional learning rests here! We should always remember, “There’s no place like HOPE!”




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