Finding the Right Staff and Training Them for Family Engagement
There's no underestimating the power of great facilitation. It can transform a good program to a fabulous program, maximizing family engagement and ensuring every participant has a fun, memorable, and educational experience. Here are some resources and tips for finding the best staff and training them to deliver engaging multigenerational programming.
New facilitation staff at the USS Constitution Museum experience the multigenerational programs during training to get a feel for the engagement we're looking for.
Hiring and Supporting Facilitators
It is essential that facilitators equip adults with the tools they require to support their families. It is up to us to give the facilitators the tools and training they need to do so. Heather Nielsen describes the nimbleness, flexibility, and other skills successful facilitators require, as well as the types of backgrounds and training that makes the best facilitators.
Model Facilitation during Training
If you want your facilitators to engage families in conversation and activity, don't use a lecture format for training. Show them what you expect by modeling engaging facilitation for your new staff in the methods you choose for training.
Created by Boston Children’s Museum and Chicago Children’s Museum, this staff-training curriculum was designed for other museums to train their front-line staff to successfully facilitate family experiences that engage both children and adults. The curriculum features over 200 pages of activities and resources that support their ten “Standards of Engagement.” The flexible activities offer opportunities for reflection and discussion, and the curriculum provides tips for how to lead effective training sessions.
Training Facilitators to Invite Family Participation
Marianna Adams and Beth Fredericks provide methods you might use in training staff, especially young staff, to successfully make the invitations necessary to engage everyone in multigenerational groups.
Ellen Thompson, Director of Visitor Education and Programs at Boston Children’s Museum, provides tips and techniques for training museum staff interacting with younger families.