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In Service Programs

Arranging an in-service program or orientation can be more difficult than it seems. Coordinating personal schedules with existing work-loads often leads to frustration for everyone involved. Thank goodness for technology to help in this area. In today’s world, we have many options and ways to get the message across. Get creative and take advantage of available technology. Don’t let a silly thing like work load and scheduling difficulties stand in your way of organizing or inspiring and motivating your staff.

Why Arrange an orientation or in-service ?

As the leaders, managers, principals, coordinators, trainers, or head honchos, we are responsible for keeping up morale, assistance and guidance, as well as keeping our staff abreast of the newest ideas and methods. It is our job to provide an environment that is flexible to change and welcomes diversity. We are responsible for success or failure – it is up to us to motivate and inspire our staff to achieve their personal goals, as well as our mutual goals as a school/business. Our continuum consists of clients, audience, students, parents, staff, management and us. If any part of the continuum is damaged or broken, it is up to us to repair it. It is also up to us to prevent potential damage.

There are many ways to incorporate ongoing systems that help us keep up with our staff and guide them to keep up with each other – like meetings, newsletters, individual reviews, idea/complaint boxes, and more. But sometimes the need or inspiration arises to address a specific topic or test our relations skills.

Some examples of why we may decide to schedule an In-Service Program.

  • A recent trend – negative or positive that needs to be addressed
  • A recent societal issue that may affect us as a school/business, and/or our students/clients/audience
  • To inspire new methods or techniques
  • Repeated attempts to address an issue have not worked thoroughly
  • Complaints from clients, students, parents or from staff
  • New information to present
  • One or more departments have something good to share
  • One or more departments have a complaint or need to address
  • Complacency, frustration, and/or boredom
  • Recent extra stress and extra busy-ness
  • Just for the heck of it – morale and social bonding

How to Organize a Great In-Service

Get others involved. This is not just delegating, it is smart planning. The more they are involved, the more important it is to them personally. Let others have a stake in the outcome. Let each department have a representative, or ask a couple staff members to participate and present. A co-worker presenting usable information can be more inspiring than the boss showing some obscure method. Heck, the boss could perhaps learn something too.

Include new members as well as veterans. New people coming in often have a different perspective of the work environment and new fresh ideas. They also will be honored to be invited to participate. But of course, also include the experienced and seasoned staff members; they have the wisdom. It is a big honor if you send a special invitation to present, instead of just taking volunteers. But, let them know it is not mandatory - if their personal schedule does not permit, don’t push. Let them sign up for the next one.

Encourage participation from everyone. Inform the whole group about discussion etiquette and encourage the presenters to include activities. Scheduling or allowing for frequent short breaks may also help the atmosphere, just make sure you take charge when break is over, and don’t lose control of the room. Teachers have an advantage in this area - they do it everyday.

Unless, it is not appropriate, an informal environment is preferred. It makes everyone feel more comfortable and the presenters feel more at ease. Make it fun; create an enjoyable atmosphere - you set the tone. Decorations and snacks may be helpful.

Make presentations, hand-outs, booklets etc colorful and attention getting. Keep in mind, different people learn in different ways. Don’t overdue the paperwork. A mountain of papers can be overwhelming.

With help, create a review of the whole workshop by video, photos, power point or website, as well as outlines and summaries. Those that were unable to attend can still get the information, and see what fun they missed. And those that did attend have memories and something to review. This also cuts back on the paper mountain.

If you can’t schedule an In-Service Event

If schedules do not allow, or your business/school is just too big, you can develop a creative alternative to an in-service workshop or orientation.

Some examples of creative alternatives are:

• Video conference or video presentation series

• Telephone conference or chatroom – get together in the comfort of your own home.

• Booklets, handbooks, downloadable adobe acrobat file or e-book

• Websites or slide presentation

• Develop or have departments develop a learning activity that addresses the topic – share this with the others and establish a reward for their participation on their own time, as well as rewards for coming up with other activities that address the issue or topic

• Ask each department or team to brainstorm and summarize on a specific topic – compile the summaries and examples into a booklet or power point

• Email forums with ongoing discussions – monitor and manage topics

• Design small group forums with facilitators

• Ask for a representative from each department to sit in on a meeting/orientation and then carry that information back to his or her department

• Allow for choices - let each staff member choose a way to receive materials or new information. Prepare more than one presentation of the same information, give an allotment of time for review and establish a check off system. Make it possible for a discussion/ Q & A/inspired ideas or examples section.

• Make everything fun, informative, and rewarding – do they need continuing education points or can they add to the information.

• Always include as many people as possible – not just department heads or veterans

What are some of your ideas?

What was the best workshop/in-service experience you ever had?

What made that experience memorable?

What inspires and motivates you?


Links to different types of In-Service Programs

See what others are doing

In-Service Programs for Teachers from

Wehr Nature Center In-service Programs for Educators

New York State In – Service Programs (Department of code enforcement and administration)

Navy GME FTIS Programs Reporting Requirements
Guidance for Annual and Situational Reports

Allen County, Ohio In-Service Programs

Health Care Market – Trainings and Programs

In-Service Programs for Florida Extension Professionals

Proficiency vs. Competency Inservice Program & workshop

Canadian-American Center Teacher In-service programs&
Teacher Resource Library

In-Service Programs in Learning Disabilities


Management Control Booklet
Improvement Plan


This project was completed in partial fulfillment for EDA 6205 Educational Management for Dr. V. Bryan, Fall 2004. The project is the property of the author,

Bonnie Isham Willis -

and assigned rights to Dr. V. Bryan,, instructor of the course. If you wish to distribute this project for training purposes, contact the author, or Dr. V. Bryan, . The product is permitted for use for subsequent EDA 6205 courses as a sample of high quality electronic work or portfolio for this course.

Fall 2004
Competency 1