I spent most of yesterday putting together an all day workshop I will present in Katy (a western suburb of Houston) next month. Since I have several workshops in late June and throughout July, I wanted to get at least one "drafted." When I begin planning these all day sessions, I try to think about how to connect disparate ideas and topics into a coherent, cohesive whole. What do these educators know already? What might I share that is new? These are not simple questions. Often, I will assume that folks know about a professional book, about trends and issues in literature, about new research. You know what ASSUME makes me, right?
And, so, I try to include some of the old tried and true facts and figures, some of the new research and sprinkle in tons of references to books. If nothing else, I leave the day knowing I have talked about dozens of new books that might be read and perhaps shared with students once school is back in session.
One of the reasons I pushed ahead with this presentation is because I know what they asked me to talk about and I spoke to one of the other keynote speakers about what she would discuss. It helped give me a framework of sorts. Once I have a general frame, filling in the details is smoother. Between now and July, I will tweak this presentation. I will move things around, add, delete up until the morning of the presentation. Until then, I will turn to another date and another audience and begin to frame a new workshop. I love putting these together. I enjoy even more revising them, tweaking them, obsessing over them.