What are my #FacilitatorGoals?

 I recently (re)heard the cliche "write the book you want to read," and that sparked my idea of my goal to "Design the PD that I want to attend." 

Rabbit-hole: I wanted to find who authored the book quote, and it's most often attributed to Toni Morrison, but there are many others who shared similar sentiments.

As I wrapped up my first post-2020 summer of providing face-to-face professional learning, and because I attended several events for my own learning, I wanted to reflect on my learning preferences to rethink and refine my own practices.

Refining PD Design

I have numerous models and frameworks in mind during my PD design process (many based on the book The Art of Gathering) and the purpose of this post is to document my big goals of an ideal PD session.

During the past couple of years, I've really scrutinized elements of workshops, webinars, and events I attended that met (or did not meet) my PD expectations.

I hope that by reflecting on my own preferences and creating this list will help me refine how I design professional learning. 

illustration with hands crafting; text "#FacilitatorGoals - design the PD I would want to attend." upper right, colorful lightbulb idcon

My #FacilitatorGoals

I believe a skillful facilitator: 
  • knows who the participants are;
  • establishes session goals and a purpose and articulates those goals;
  • utilizes activities and protocols that engage the learners and allow meaning-making;
  • includes storytelling elements/structures;
  • builds a safe, inclusive learning community; 
  • recognizes attendees’ preferences may differ from their own;
  • allows time and space for collaboration, reflections, and processing;
  • identifies the best format for the delivery of the material;
  • ensures session resources are accessible and professional;
  • considers the question “What’s the best use of our synchronous time?” 
  • shares relevant, timely (research-based) information;
  • pinpoints ways that learners can immediately apply the new learning;
  • integrates technology in meaningful ways to support the learning;
  • considers the “container” for session resources and curated materials; 
  • provides opportunities to extend the learning experience.

Earlier in the pandemic-times, I wrote about my mistakes about learning preferences. I now think that the bottom-line is all about providing choice

From the previous post, if I'm somehow "required" to provide a tool-based, presentation-style webinar (my least favorite type of session) if I design with this goal list in mind, I can create a meaningful learning experience - even a webinar about a digital tool - that I would like to attend.

What would you add to this list of #FacilitatorGoals? And if you're in one of my professional learning sessions and you do not see me incorporating one of these ideals, please provide that feedback!

Always learning and refining.