Around our districts there are hotspots of Pathways activity, but there are others that have yet to fully grasp it.
What distinguishes clubs making the most of pathways from the others?
Some of the factors are:
- Champions – who know more about the projects or how basecamp works,
- Senior members e.g. New DTMs, setting the example of starting a path,
- Most of the officers starting a path,
- Some members making fast progress in pathways,
- Giving new members are good start.
The learning load for a new member was high enough when they had manuals and loads of people to ask about things. Now they are told how to login and most people in the club can’t help them and before they can start they have to choose a path from 10 without really knowing the consequences.
Toastmasters works best by doing things in small steps – a salami approach. So how do we make it easier for a newcomer to do their Icebreaker? If we had lots of experienced members in the club, we could mentor them about paths and teach them how to use choose a path and how to cope with the basecamp implementation.
Now we don’t have enough pathways experienced members in most clubs – so until we do, we can make the steps to start smaller.
VPE (Vice President of Education) gives all new members electronic copy (PDFs) for all level one projects, as they are the same in all paths, and while they are doing these – introduce gradually to the paths – and basecamp.
By the time they have finished the third project they will have to choose their path and learn basecamp to go on to level 2.
This will speed the process & time it takes for new members to get their first award.
Remember our core values, Integrity, Excellence, Respect & Service. Are we, being good clubs members doing all we can to maximise the benefits of pathways for new members?
District Officers will know that Pathways gives the opportunity for new members to contribute to Distinguished Club Programme goals in their first year and the mix of traditional and pathway goals allows club to achieve a higher performance than usual. Are your club officers including new members in their plans?
Of course, pathways are not just for new members, it is for all of us. We all joined Toastmasters International to learn new skills, not for CC or DTM awards. Pathways is simply a way we can choose our new learnings. When we do the icebreaker at the start we bring all or current knowledge with us and build on it as we progress.
It is said only babies with a full nappy look forward to changes. That is not true of Toastmasters is it? We are all here to learn new things, aren’t we?