Session I-8: Processing of week one - bridge to Peace Corps, goal setting
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Overview: This meeting takes place at the end of the first week, and serves several purposes. The first week of training can be a strange and intense experience for many trainees, and this meeting provides an opportunity to process that experience. After a week of individual work during which trainees may have felt alone and sometimes confused, it can be reassuring to share the feelings they had and to discuss what they learned about working in this environment. Some of the topics that were touched on in Orientation are reviewed again now that trainees have some experience with the program to help them put them into perspective. In addition to processing, this meeting also serves as a forum for providing additional information about the job of a fish culture extensionist that will help trainees put training into context. Trainees are informed of the staff's expectations of them. Finally, now that trainees have had a chance to get oriented, they are encouraged to set personal goals for themselves related to the training program.
1. The facilitator begins the session by reviewing what the trainees have done over the course of the week. He/she asks the trainees to share some of the experiences and feelings they had during the week.
2. The facilitator asks trainees to list what they have learned about new ways of learning. As the trainees repond, a trainer records their list on newsprint.
3. When the trainees feel that the list is complete, the trainer tapes the sheets of newsprint along the front of the room. The facilitator asks the trainees to take ten minutes and write down how they plan to apply what they have learned this week to the rest of training.
4. At this point, the facilitator gives a brief lecture during which the following topics are discussed:
5. The facilitator asks the trainees what they feel are some of the important skills and characteristics that a volunteer must possess in order to be effective. Encourage the trainees to make links between these skills or characteristics and the job of the fisheries volunteer, and to explain how each point affects the volunteer's effectiveness.
6. The facilitator now asks the trainees to turn their thoughts, in light of what has been discussed to this point, to what the Peace Corps field staff will expect of them. Again, this is to be a verbal discussion among the trainees.
7. At this point, the facilitator refers to the assessment component of the program that was initially introduced during the Orientation session. He/she stresses that the main purpose of this component, as well as the dimensions that are used, are based on the needs of the overseas staff regarding the volunteers who enter the fisheries programs. The importance of honest self-assessment is again emphasized with reference to its relevance to the aquaculture programs. Trainees are encouraged to express their thoughts or questions about either self-assessment or staff assessment.
8. The staff's expectations of the trainees are explained. These include:
9. In concluding the session, the facilitator points out that training can serve as a transition period for developing and enhancing the characteristics they listed and for trying out what for most will be a new role. The trainees are given an assignment to reflect upon what has been discussed and upon their own past experiences, and to set some personal goals for themselves for training. These are to be written down and turned in the following morning. Make it clear that the goal statements will be returned to them within a day or two and they may be referred to in future feedback sessions.
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