Today I returned to a client from the past.
I first did a training for the Fairfax County Office for Children Head Start Program in Virginia in April of 2007. It was for their Family Services Symposium and I presented The Power of CARE , focusing on the training goal of improving Family Services Staff's partnership building with families.
I remember that day well, for both positive and not so positive reasons.
I received a lot of great feedback from the attendees. One of them even asked if she could "steal" one of my workshop exercises and use it herself. I told her she was more than welcome to replicate my exercise. One of the things that we in education and training know, is that sometimes you borrow great ideas and teaching strategies from others and make them your own.
It was also a very sad time in our nation's history. There was a tragic mass shooting at Virginia Tech University only a few days earlier. Having spent some time in university administration before becoming a Head Start Director, I actually knew an administrator at Virginia Tech. She and I had met when we were both at the University of Delaware. So the tragedy seemed that much more ...close to home.
Like many of my clients, that first training turned into many more over the course of four years. The following year I did a two-day Family Services Seminar, I later did a presentation of What Color Is Your Imagination? for their staff in 2009, and presented several Program Governance training events for their Policy Council over multiple years. Those governance training events were so successful that one of their delegate agencies hired me for their own governance training.
One of my contacts from Fairfax County ended up working for a program in Maryland. She sang my praises to them and I ended up doing several years of training events for them as well. The most recent, several events in 2016 and 2017.
It's been seven years since I had been back to Fairfax County, but I have seen several of the staff at regional Head Start events. When I sent out a recent marketing packet, it was a pleasure to hear from them and get the opportunity to return.
It was a great day.
One of the things I love about going from program to program, agency to agency, and state to state, is seeing the diversity of people and environments that are out there in Head Start, Community Action, and other non-profits agencies.
I often learn something new in addition to imparting my own wisdom. Today I learned that there exists dry erase name tents. I have to say that I LOVED these!
Thank you to the attendees today. They were engaged and highly interactive. Which is something every educator really appreciates. I can't wait to return to Fairfax County again later this year.