What are the biggest differences between a planned and an unplanned session? Share your experiences Contribute your thoughts to the discussion forum below. Please feel free to comment on or reply to any other contributions.
Idea sharing - Planned vs. unplanned sessions
Planned sessions tend to feel more fun and relaxed (and be less stressful for the staff) as you have an idea of what key points you are wanting to focus on and what resources you need going in. If you have a plan for the session, it also makes it easier to adapt to the families needs on the day (e.g. if the age of the kids is older or younger than expected you might change the book you had planned on reading) so you can swap in/out books and songs that might suit better, but still achieve the early literacy goals that you had planned.
Unplanned sessions are chaotic, rushed, and outcomes may be unexpected.
Planned allows for movement, while also maintaining focus
Planned session has clear guidelines to follow and goals to achieve.
When not planned delivery can be very disjointed.
The planned sessions ran smoothly with less stress :)
Planned - clear message - prompts for the next part of the routine, less stress during the session.
Unplanned Session - Chaotic, messy, stressful and families can tell there was not much thought put into the program
Planning a session allows me to feel confident.At the close of the session with a group of toddlers I would know I have covered each section thoughly
Unplanned sessions = chaos!
An unplanned session looks unprofessional and leaves participants feeling unvalued and overwhelmed if chaos reigns.
Not planning is being inconsiderate.
Unplanned session can become disorderly very quickly and children will sense if you are floundering and will become restless quickly.
An unplanned session can feel chaotic and off-putting for the audience.
However, sometimes you need to make changes to the planned session on the fly.
A planned session in contrast gives the presenter a sense of confidence leading to a professional and well timed session.
Planned Sessions tend to flow at a nice speed without jumping around between things and deliver the messages I'm trying to get across to parents as well as making me feel more confident.
planned sessions - professional, organised and run smooth
I like to put a lot of thought into the sessions so that not only the child enjoys the session but also the parent.
I try to imagine the session in real time as I'm planning so I can make sure I have the confidence to present a session.
Hopefully parents enjoy the sessions so they feel like visiting the library more often.
For a planned session I always feel more confident and coherent in delivering messages and interacting with the group. I am able to pick songs/rhymes/stories that match what I want to say so it flows nicely. I always feel satisfied after sessions like this.
For some sessions (usually last minute ones) that have no planning I feel frazzled and to me the session does not flow well. I will forget to do key messaging when it would fit and tend to do them all together, which can be boring for children. After these sessions I feel drained and like I have not succeeded.
In 2022, I have assigned a theme to every week through August for us to work from. This is a new process, and we will evaluate as we go to determine if this works well or if it is better to do month by month as we currently do.
Also, the Session Planning documents are included in our monthly report to Council.