Well this has been the first week of my challenge and I thought I’d dive in the deep end. One of the challenges is to start a group or club and this is something that is going to take more than a single week to do. But I have started and last week involved some research, some organising and some promoting.
Organising a group has turned out to be a lot more work than I expected. So far it has been rewarding and I have learnt quite a bit. I have started a brainstorming group for teachers and the intent is to tackle a different problem or issue each month and come up with interesting new solutions. Our second meeting is next month so I’ll post another report after that. You can read some of my thoughts so far below.
I want to present a different brainstorming technique at every session. I feel this will keep things fresh and interesting and allow us all to find what works and what doesn’t in terms of brainstorming and to become better at it. There is a lot out there but I would highly recommend the book ‘The Art of Innovation‘ by Tom Kelly. It’s a very interesting read and chock full of useful tips and anecdotes. Although researching has taken a lot more time than I expected I can honestly say it has been most entertaining and enlightening and would suggest that if you have the time you should definitely investigate this topic.
When I see people present and run events it always seems to come across so effortless. The session just flows nicely and seems to naturally progress (when done well anyways). What I have now come to realise is that for this to happen there must be a certain amount of organising behind the scenes. How much time are we going to spend on each section? How do we keep peoples interest and energy levels high? How do we plan for and incorporate the unexpected (that curly question or the like)? etc. When broken down it seems like we don’t actually have much time to spend on the different sections but we’ll see how it rolls in action.
I spent last week emailing every school in the region, talking to contacts and getting up at staff meetings to talk about the session. This is something I am not naturally good at and must admit there have been several occasions of nervousness. After though it felt good. I took myself out of my comfort zone and survived. I don’t think I necessarily did the best but I have definitely learnt from the experience and will do better next time.
All in all it has been a very rewarding experience. To anyone who is thinking about starting a group but having doubts I would say take a risk and dive in. It will be a bit of work but worth it.