Planning a Professional Workshop With Others

PLANNING A PROFESSIONAL WORKSHOP WITH OTHERS
BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER

Before:

 

  1. Collect materials and ideas individually and know your topic (read the text and other resources.) before you meet as a group.  This will save valuable time because you will know what resources everyone will be using.
  2. Be prepared to be flexible about what will be done and who will do it.  Work collaboratively to use the best skills and resources of the group.
  3. Read the evaluation forms carefully and refer to them as you plan; they contain clear and concise indications of what should be happening during the planning and presentation stages of the workshop.
  4. Be sensitive to feelings of others during the planning stage.  "Leaders" may need to subdue feelings that they know what is best for the group.  "Followers"  may need to be assertive (not aggressive), perhaps by saying something like, "I'd like to discuss that some more before we decide", or "I don't feel comfortable with this".  All parties should feel relatively satisfied at the end of the planning process.  No one should be able to say,  "My ideas weren't considered".  
  5. If you want to borrow materials from the CDL or ask for other assistance from the director, make an appointment to do so after you have met as a group and have some basic ideas.  Come with a written list of what kinds of help you need.
  6. Plan for reality.  The carpet must be protected from messy spills, etc.  If hands need to be washed before or after a project, order handi-wipes.  Consider the time needed to participate in each part of the presentation, and plan for 5 or 6 minutes of explanation. 
  7. Prepare a handout which has concise, non-repetitive information.  Do not include materials which everyone will be receiving as part of another class.  Make sure all copies are clear and readable and add page numbers.  Limit your handout to 6 pages, and bring enough copies to class for every class member and your instructor.  The Lab will copy your handouts if they are clear, all one-sided or all two-sided (not mixed), and if they are left to be copied at least 24 hours before you need them.  Please do not ask us to copy materials which do not conform to these criteria.
  8. Use Room 122 (ask about getting in) to store your materials and shorten your set-up time.  Check ahead of time and make sure that shopping list items were purchased.
  9. Order what you need for your presentation (and later, for your activity plans) using the CDL shopping form (that's why you were charged a course fee).  We will buy all grocery, art, cleaning and other consumable items, and provide other supplies you need.  Please ask us to purchase before you spend your own money.  We usually can't provide collectibles like shoe boxes or baby food jars.  Shopping at Wal-Mart (food and craft supplies) is done on Friday morning, and lists must be turned in before 5 pm on Thursday.  WE WILL PURCHASE WHAT YOU NEED, but plan to turn in your lists on time.
  10. Be prepared to start by five minutes after the scheduled time for class.  The Lab School will provide almost everything you need, but not if you wait until half an hour before your scheduled time to present.  Organize the day before (or earlier), so valuable class time is not lost.

During:

  1. Make your presentation interesting (don't read material in your handout).  Remember, "Hands-on" learning isn't only for children.  After a brief introduction of your topic and handout, use a centers approach to get everyone involved.  You must give participants things to do as well as to hear and see.
  2. Watch the clock!  Your group should plan a signal so everyone knows when to move from center to center.  Forty to forty five minutes is the maximum time your workshop presentation should take.
  3. Display a cheerful, interested attitude.  Let everyone see you are enjoying yourself and your topic.
  4. Making excuses detracts from a presentation ("I forgot to bring...").  It's better to hope your audience doesn't notice any mistakes.

After:

  1. Check the classroom for cleanliness, and return chairs to their original positions.  Make sure all borrowed CDL materials are returned to the place you found them.  "Leftover" materials purchased by the CDL should be returned for other student teaching use.
  2. Fill out the Group Self Evaluation Form.  Fold, or place in an envelope, and give to your instructor.  This form is confidential.  The presentation group will not receive a grade until all members have turned in their evaluations.
  3. Consider presenting your workshop at a professional meeting.  Students who have done so in the past have often received the highest ratings by participants of all those presenting.  Remember, you are a well trained professional who has a great deal to offer to others in the early childhood profession.