Challenging session planning comes in all shapes and sizes. Over the years I found session planning challenges tend to fall into one of two categories.
Some are situational. You are coming off an illness, bad weather break, or vacation. The need is to quickly plan and prep a session. Sometimes the challenge comes from within us – there is a need to share something new or fresh. While there is not a simple one size fits all way to deal with either session planning challenge. Here is an approach for each session planning challenge.
For situational session planning challenges
Having a simple, generic plan always at the ready can be a stress reducer. I’m not sure if the emphasis is on “simple” or “plan”. I just know that if I have made a simple plan, those challenging times are more relaxed for me and more fun for those in my care. I have gathered the “go-to” songs, a movement and a drumming intervention . Depending on the weather and the ability to transport equipment I may or may not use the drumming intervention. Print out a hard copy of the plan just in case your tablet crashes or you are on day three of no power.
The secret is to use this plan at least once a year and tweak it after you use it. Print is out and throw away the old version.
For the needing something fresh session planning challenge
Prevention is key. Resources are a BIG part of this for me.
One resource is the files of interventions we have used in previous sessions. Most of us likely fall back on a few selections while others sit forgotten in our files. To be honest, this is where technology is your friend. Be sure and assigning tags for various skills/goals/topics. This saves time when you search. Tools such as Evernote will also search for words within files. This allows you do even search be a song title.
Community can be another resource for fresh ideas. From closed Facebook groups to Pinterest boards, there is an overload of inspiration to be found. Even better is connecting with others having with similar interests or working with similar populations.