The “Professional Development” catalog offered by School Training Solutions provides a wide range of useful information for employers and employees alike—information that can be applied to virtually any school or business setting.
Like all STS courses, the Professional Development track has the added bonus of meeting both the in-service training requirements and the professional development training needs of school district employees in a number of states. Areas of emphasis include:
• Conflict Management (6 hours)
• Health (11.4 hours)
• Safety (10 hours)
• Sexual Harassment (6.5 hours)
• Stress Management (3 hours)
• Workplace (6.1 hours)
• Driving Safety (14 hours)
Though all of these topics are important, three of them—Safety, Sexual Harassment and Stress Management—particularly catch my eye. The reason for this stems from a two-year period during my college years when I worked as a sales clerk for a well-known department store. Due to the content of this blog, I shall withhold the name of this store.
As I suspect was common in the 1970s, our employee orientation didn’t extend much beyond dress codes, the basics of how to run a cash register, the location of the employee entrance and lounge, and how to punch the time clock. Looking back, I have no doubt that the STS “Professional Development” course would have been a huge plus for everyone from underlings like me to the highest levels of management. Now THAT would have been some serious, five-star employee orientation!
Let’s talk about safety. I was hired as a sales clerk, but I soon found that I was going to be required to assemble everything from 10-speed bicycles to pinball machines to swing sets. I was never asked if I had any experience or aptitude for this kind of work, nor was I provided with anything remotely resembling safety tips. My assistant manager simply told me to go over to hardware and “get some tools and get to it.” I wound up doing a lot of mashing, slicing and spilling of blood, and I’m just grateful that I never incurred a serious injury.
Then there was the sexual harassment I witnessed. This involved several older male management personnel engaging in rude comments and certain types of inappropriate behavior vis-à-vis young female employees—actions that would get them fired in a heartbeat today. It was as if no one had ever told them there was anything wrong with acting that way, and the guilty parties acted that way on a daily basis. More than one female employee quit because of this harassment.
My comments regarding stress management will focus on one man—our division manager. He was as kind, generous and professional as the day is long, but I’ve never seen anyone with worse stress issues. His hands shook almost constantly, he was prone to stuttering, and he had very high blood pressure—all, I learned over time, because there was virtually no moment on the job when he did not feel tremendous stress. This man would have benefitted greatly from the kind of stress management techniques offered in the STS Professional Development course. I learned some years later that he had died long before his time.
Whether for a school setting or business, STS Professional Development covers all the bases. There’s something in there to benefit everyone.
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