Last week was staff training week in the Early Childhood department at Bona Vista. One week a year, right before school starts, the department closes to the children in order to provide training to teachers and staff.
“Teamwork amongst teachers is imperative in creating a positive learning environment for early learners,” said Bailley Maxwell, Bona Vista early childhood director.
The week consisted of education and team-building. The Early Childhood staff attended trainings on a range of topics, including trauma care, assessments, childhood development, as well as health and safety in an effort to have the best prepared teachers and staff for our students.
Staff development is one of my favorite perks of working at Bona Vista. Our agency really takes care of our employees and attempts to serve them well. Our development department has a history of planning activities to give employees a break, as well as keep the workplace inviting. Among my favorites was National Fun at Work Day which hosted an area at each building with games like bowling, jump ropes, bean bag toss, and hula hoops. We have had a Blanket Fort Day that provided areas to unplug and relax for a few minutes, as well as keto cooking classes and financial wellness seminars. Professional development workshops are offered regularly as well.
This effort has been an intentional focus at Bona Vista, even during uncertain times like we have experienced for the past few months. Our development department has offered activities to not only alleviate some of the stress related to life during the pandemic but also to assist in providing our employees support. We have been in continual operation with enhanced restrictions, so it’s been imperative that we support our staff that cares for our persons served. Staff development events have adapted by moving to a remote setting, but we have still been able to provide our employees with events such as a personality workshop for teams, dementia caregiving training, and a trauma grief seminar.
Just like many frontline jobs, our mission at Bona Vista can be stressful, so I’m thankful we have staff supports in place to assist with each employee personally. I encourage all of our employees and members of our community to be aware of the importance of mental health. Our lives and our jobs can be major stressors; it’s crucial to monitor your own wellbeing as well as that of your coworkers and friends during this unknown time. Allocate some time to unplug and relax, even if it’s scheduled. Even better, find yourself a great place to work that encourages personal growth! Check out www.bonavista.org for some of my personal suggestions.