November 3 -7 , 2010
Lyndon Brown, NJPTA
On Wednesday, November 3, 2010, I departed Newark Liberty International Airport en
route to Chicago O’Hare Airport for the National PTA’s TCBI Training Conference.
After a safe flight via American Airlines, I was greeted by a National PTA Representative and
departed for a scenic limousine ride (Courtesy National PTA) to the Hyatt Hotel in Deerfield,
Illinois. Upon my arrival, I checked into my hotel room and proceeded to the Conference
Registration Center to register for the training and pick up my training materials.
On Thursday, November 4th, the Training delegates gathered for a get-acquainted breakfast
at 7a .m. National PTA President, Chuck Saylors extended greetings to our convention
delegates. Audra Adkins, Training Director for National PTA introduced the Conference
Facilitators for our training. Each delegate was then assigned to their respective facilitators.
Ms. Adkins facilitated a power-point presentation on the history of the National PTA after
which we departed for our various training workshops.
The Facilitator for my training session was Ms. Phyllis Becker. Ms. Becker asked each delegate
to introduce ourselves and give some background information on how we each got our names.
Ms. Becker informed us that we each would be expected to develop a lesson objective and
conduct a mini-training at the end of our Training Conference.
We begin our training by identifying various learning styles. We also identified and shared our
individual leadership strengths and the goals we need to set for ourselves to become more
effective. The objective for our first day of training was to identify best practices, learn how to
incorporate activities into our workshops and trainings, format our training, develop ways to
make trainings more interactive without losing control. We also learned the three (3)
components of a learning objective: Performance, Condition, and Criteria.
At the conclusion of our first day of training each delegate created a learning objective after
and shared their learning objectives with the group. Afterwards, we critique each other’s
learning objective and departed for our delegate’s dinner.
On Friday, November 5, 2010, we gathered for breakfast in the convention center. After
breakfast we departed for Day II Training sessions. Once we assembled we reviewed Day I
Training modules. We were then paired into groups for a day of case studies and training
content overview. We learned sequenced training, training outline development, how to select
training methods, and how to best utilize training aids (Handouts, videos, flip charts, power-
point, etc.) We were advised to ask a question after presenting three (3) points in our training
presentations. After every 10 minutes of training, a project or assignment should be given.
After our training session we gathered for dinner where we shared some of our best practices
and challenges. Several delegates suggested that we venture to Oak Brook Mall, after our break
we returned to the Convention Center where we continued to work on our presentations.
On Saturday, November 6th, we gathered for breakfast before beginning DAY III of training
sessions. During our Saturday Training session we discussed how to use effective observation
skills, how to respond to participant behavior, paraphrasing to demonstrate understanding
using listening skills, enhancing questioning skills, types of questions to ask: open-ended or
closed. We also learned how to phrase questions, direct questions to certain attendees, how to
respond to questions, and how to build questions into trainings.
We held an in-depth discussion on the importance of setting ground rules, parameters, and
strategies for handling difficult participants. At 12 noon, we took a lunch break at the Grand
Pavilion. After lunch we re-convened where we held practice sessions for our training
presentations. Presenters were timed and received feedback from group members on their
individual presentations. After the practice sessions, we proceeded to the computer lab to type
up our presentations and create power-points from our presentations.
On Sunday, November 7, 2010, each of the training delegates conducted training sessions.
Each presenter received peer evaluations as well as formal evaluations as well as formal
evaluations from our group facilitators. The training workshops were given on varied topics
including: How to create a legal documents binder, the importance of creating a checklist for
projects and events, How to conduct an effective audit, how to plan a health fair, how to
organize your presentations with slide masters, PTA vs. PTO, How to Conduct an Effective
Meeting, Roberts Rules of Order, The Duties of an Executive Board, How to Market your PTA to
the Media, How to promote your PTA via Facebook, Twitter, and Ning.
After our Training Presentations, all of the delegates gathered for a commencement ceremony.
Certificates for training completion were presented to each delegate. Chuck Saylors, National
PTA President thanked everyone for attending and encouraged us to put our training into
action. Audra Adkins, Training Director informed us that further training and assistance would
be available on the National PTA’s Ning Website and TCBI’s online technical support center.
Delegates exchanged contact information, shared convention experiences, and departed for
Chicago O’Hare airport at 12 noon. It was an honor to serve as a delegate for the New Jersey
PTA. This training opportunity was an awesome opportunity to network, engage in meaningful
dialogue, share best practices, challenges, and success stories. Lyndon Brown, NJPTA