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It’s a commonly known fact throughout the Mathnasium community that there’s no one who makes the Mathnasium Method come alive quite like Larry!  To that end, one of the Training Department’s top priorities for 2016 is to expand Instructor Training with the goal of bringing Larry’s unique brand of math magic to as many Mathnasium Instructors as possible. The January 2016 Instructor Training in Orlando, FL, was the most successful one yet, with Larry’s four-hour online and in-person training sessions reaching a total of 217 Instructors over two days. That’s more than total number of Instructors impacted by Larry’s sessions throughout all of 2015!

At the Orlando session, Larry used Mathnasium’s Key Concepts as well as the three stages of learning outlined in The Mathnasium Learning Principle as a springboard for exploring teaching constructs and ways to approach foundational math concepts to teach kids power math. All online and in-person attendees were provided with a copy of Instructor Workout Book 1 as a reference. By the end of the session, “pretty much everyone was sitting out of their chairs, they were so excited,” reported Larry!

With a cap of 100 centers per session, the Orlando-based online, real-time Instructor Training leveraged technology to create an effective blended learning experience for all attendees. Via Adobe Connect, trainees viewed a split screen—one half featured Larry, and the other displayed the Instructor Workout Book page that pertained to his discussion topic. This means that when Larry referred to something on page 7 of the Workout Book, online attendees saw page 7 on the screen in real-time to guide them as they work through their printed materials. Attendees typed out their questions, which were fielded by a training moderator and were answered live by Larry.

Attendee feedback was very positive! Here’s a sampling:

I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for Larry’s training session.  It was incredibly well received by our instructors, directors and the entire team.  It was very well organized, professional and covered a great many topics.  As always, we learn so much math from Larry.  More importantly, my team feels a great boost after events like these.  They found the session to be inspiring, motivating, and a reminder as to why we do what we do.  Thanks for the opportunity. – Mo Khalil, franchisee

The Instructor WOB is a wonderful resource—I know a lot of it we already have in one form or another, but it is now in the perfect format for us to add to each Instructor’s ongoing education binder. – Laura Hamel, franchisee (online attendee)

The training was awesome—such a great opportunity for instructors to experience being with Larry ‘in person.’ […] The video/audio sometimes kicked out, but you were always right on-the-ball to fix it, so I really didn’t feel like much was lost. – Sylvia McLellan, franchisee (online attendee)

The success of the Orlando sessions is just the beginning for further Instructor Training initiatives that will unfold throughout 2016. “Something we’re looking at down the road is to evolve Instructor Training content by developing separate sessions tailored to address the needs of Level 1 and Level 2 Instructors, with Level 2 catering to Instructors with six or more months of Mathnasium teaching experience under their belts.” (Larry also noted that the content covered at the Orlando session was at the 1.5 level; he expects to have full Level 1 and Level 2 training content ready in the latter half of 2016.)

On the online front, “we learned a lot from our experiences with remote online training sessions throughout 2015 and in Orlando this January, particularly in the area of optimizing technology,” said Training & Development Specialist Quane Huff. Planned enhancements to remote, real-time Instructor Training throughout 2016 include the addition of a second camera to further capture the essence of Larry’s overall delivery for the benefit of remote attendees. Additionally, online attendees will soon have the opportunity to ask Larry questions via microphone (vs. typing them out), which means their voices will be heard through the speakers at the live venue. In addition to enhancing remote attendees’ connection with Larry, this will also facilitate a stronger connection between in-person and remote attendees, making for a more cohesive “classroom” environment overall. The Training Department is excited to unveil these enhancements at the next Instructor Training Session in May!

Interested in attending future Instructor Training Sessions? Here’s what you need to know:

 Training sessions go much more smoothly and Instructors get way more out of the session when everyone starts on the same page! The Training Department sends out required reading to all confirmed attendees a few weeks in advance—Larry asks that everyone take the time to read the material prior to the session so everyone comes to training equipped with the same baseline knowledge. “These sessions could very well be a game changer for your staff in the way they approach teaching at the Center, so it’s critical for them to get a good grip on all the material we provide prior to training,” Larry explains. Pro Tip: Once you receive these materials from the Training Department, gather your team for a staff meeting and go over the documents together!

For those attending online:

To optimize your online learning experience, it’s recommended that participating centers have the following resources on hand:

  • A room with enough space for the whole team to gather for an afternoon of learning
  • A computer/mobile device that supports Adobe Connect (for those on Apple mobile devices, an app is available via the App Store)
  • A monitor large enough for all in-center attendees to get a good view of the material presented
  • True high-speed internet to ensure seamless real-time streaming!

“We’re really happy with the main path of what we’re doing right now,” Larry concludes. “What we’ve done in Orlando can be seen as a baseline for everything going forward. I can be reasonably comfortable with declaring 2016 as The Year of the Instructor: where, from an HQ perspective, we really devote all the resources and technology at our disposal to advance Instructor Training beyond what’s on Mathnasium University to reach and inspire as many Instructors as possible.

Larry and the Training Department are hitting the road again in May for another exciting Instructor Training Session in Minneapolis, MN. In October, they’re heading to New York! Live and online options will be available at both sessions—keep watching Mathnasium Matters for more!

 Please direct all feedback regarding Instructor Training (and training in general) to training@mathnasium.com.