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3 Skill Sharpeners to Elevate your Practice

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Program leaders, are you seeking to hone your skills and strengthen your practice? You’ve come to the right place. 

Whether you’re a seasoned out-of-school time professional or have recently stepped into a new role, here are three free skill-builders you can access now.

#1: Develop your Design Dexterity

You for Youth provides online technical assistance and training for 21st CCLC practitioners. The site includes professional learning tools, resources, and podcasts for staff in every role, including tips for combining student needs, perspectives, and program requirements into meaningful activities. Paired with tools for conducting a needs assessment, their module on intentional program design includes a handy program schedule sample and project planning template.


#2: Magnify your Engineering Mindset

Click2SciencePD is an online professional development resource for OST providers focusing on 20 research-based skills for facilitating STEM learning. The collection is studded with topical training videos to fire up your imagination. Take “Learning Blast: Consider Real World Problems.” In this practice module and video, you’ll learn how to engage youth in cultivating an engineering mindset by thinking about problems in context and testing design solutions.


#3: Be a Learning Broker

However you pursue your own personal and professional growth journey (from college courses to on-demand virtual training to coaching), you’ll likely find connections along the way that you can use yourself and share with youth. Hive Research refers to that skillset as brokering. Being a “learning broker,” Hive suggests, is about “actively connecting youth to new opportunities, people, and institutions that can help them further their life-long learning pathways and identities.” Working with the NYC Learning Network, they’ve published a comprehensive toolkit of practice briefs on brokering for the OST field.


Bonus Track!

SEDL’s Instructor's Guide to the Afterschool Training Toolkit is a one-stop shop for research-based practices, sample lessons, video examples, and other resources to support academic enrichment. A great place to start is their 10 ways to use this toolkit article.

Mizzen Pro Tips

You’ll also find a wealth of Pro Tips to strengthen your practice in Mizzen. Along with Mizzen’s vetted multi-week modules and collections, Pro Tips help you and your team bring content to life, strengthen program planning and design, and address program challenges and opportunities. Get your free account now!

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