The Learning Tree

Once there was a tree,

And she loved a little girl.

And every day the girl would come

And try to climb.

At first the girl fell every time.

Then she fell some of the time.

Then she made it to a safe branch every time

And sat

And swung

And jumped to the ground

And did it all over again.

And the tree was very happy.

Time went by and the girl grew older.

One day she came to the tree

And the tree said “come, climb on me!”

“I am too busy and frustrated to climb” said the girl.

“I need to add and subtract and I don’t get it.”

“Bummer,” said the tree, “but I’m no teacher.

I have only lemons. Maybe if you make lemonade

And sell it and give people the correct change

You will get it.”

And so the little girl climbed up the tree

And picked the lemons and made lemonade

And sold it and learned how to add and subtract.

And the tree was very happy.

Time went by and the girl grew up.

When she passed the tree

The tree grew excited and said

“Come, climb on me!”

“I am too tired and frustrated to climb” said the girl.

“I want to do well in college

And learn

And grow

But my professors lecture

And bore

And put me to sleep

And I just don’t get The Impact of Climate Change in Rural American Farming Communities 1923-present

“I am not a professor,” said the tree.

“But the impact of climate change

has been my life.

You may cut down my trunk

And examine the thickness of my rings

And count my rings

And research what happened over all that time.

And maybe you will have a better understanding

And you will be happy.”

The girl cut down the tree

And counted the rings

And did some research

And was finally able to relate to the topic

And the tree was very happy

Time went by and the girl landed her dream job

She came upon the tree.

The tree was excited to see the girl

But said

“I am sorry, I’m no longer much fun to climb.”

“I am much too preoccupied to climb,”

Said the girl.

“I just need a place to sit

And to think.

I have a presentation to give tomorrow

And I need to put my slides together

Which means I probably need a power source, too.”

The tree reflected a moment and said,

“I’m not a professional trainer

And I have no power to offer you

But you always seemed to learn something

When we were together.

You learned to try

And fail

And try again

And fail

And try yet again

Until you reached a safe branch.

You learned to turn

Lemons into lemonade

And to count

And give people correct change.

You mastered history

And biology

And climate change.

You learned it all by doing.

Without slides.”

The girl sat.

She looked around.

She planned.

She didn’t use slides.

And the tree was very happy.

The Train Like A Champion Blog is published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  If you think someone else might find this interesting, please pass it along.  If you don’t want to miss a single, brilliant post, be sure to click “Follow”!  And now you can find sporadic, 140-character messages from me on Twitter @flipchartguy.

Supervisor, Supervisor What Do You See?

I spent a lot of money getting a masters degree in pursuit of the question: how do you get training to “stick”?  I wish someone had simply given me a textbook that went something like this… 

Supervisor

Supervisor, supervisor, what do you see?

I see a skills gap looking at me.

 Skills Gap

Skills gap, skills gap, what do you see?

I see some new professional development goals looking at me.

 Goals

Professional development goals, professional development goals, what do you see?

I see well-constructed learning objectives looking at me.

 Action-oriented learner-centered objectives

Learning objectives, learning objectives, what do you see?

I see participants who will be able to explain, describe and demonstrate skills to me.

 Participants

Participants, participants, what do you see?

I see a presenter who knows how to engage me.

Presenter

Presenter, presenter, what do you see?

I see flipcharts, case studies, role plays, simulations, videos and just a touch of PowerPoint looking at me.

Materials

Training materials, training materials what do you see?

I see learners ready to transfer new skills engaged with me.

Ready for transfer

Learners, learners, what do you see?

I see…

  • A variety of well-put together training materials
  • Skilled and polished presenters
  • A roomful of engaged learners
  • Action-oriented, learner-focused objectives
  • Professional goals aligned with the learning objectives
  • A clear skills gap to fill
  • And a supervisor who – both before and after the training – knows how to support me

That’s what I see!

I See Everything

The Train Like A Champion Blog is published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  If you think someone else might find this interesting, please pass it along.  If you don’t want to miss a single, brilliant post, be sure to click “Follow” at the top of the page!