As a child, one Saturday morning cartoon I watched was the “Road Runner Show”. I can still sing the theme song. There’s a good chance many in senior living communities can, too.
Chuck Jones, the famous cartoonist behind the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, created a set of nine rules that he used to create every episode of famous cartoon.He said it actually helped with creativity.
When I first heard about these “Road Runner Rules” I thought…”Why? That’s no fun. How can having more restrictions make you more creative?”
But then I thought of another show – Chopped on the Food Network. Chefs are giving 4 oddball ingredients, some other restriction like make dessert or you have to fried something then go at it.
While I don’t want you to throw any curb ball in your session planning, creating a set of rules to help see the forest for the tree even in the dark of night is actually kind of fun.
Questions for creating your own Road Runner Rules
Having challenged others to come up with their 9 rules about your session planning by answering these questions.
- What’s something unique you’ll do?
- What’s something you’ll never compromise on when it comes to what your sessions provide?
- What’s one word you want to describe your session planning journey?
- How will you gather songs ?
- What’s your scheduling plan? (How far in advance will you make your plans?)
- What tools/apps/websites will you use to gather inspiration? (This will save you a boatload of time.)
- What’s one question you can ask yourself in your head or out loud to make sure you’re staying on track with your planning?
- Client needs and interests will always be more important than ________________. (Okay it’s not questions but still! Fill in the blank.)
- When will you always complete the plan and start learning the songs/preparing the materials?
After you map out your 9 rules jump down and check out mine.
Saturday Inspired Session Planning Rules
1. Past plans will inform but not limit my plans. The past can inform what best serves my clients. However, lack of change can block them from further experiences or growth.
2. Sessions will serve the clients not the theme, not the staff. Themes are wonderful for exploring new topics and offering new experiences. Yet for them to serve the clients, they must relate to them. Staff can have wonderful insights and suggestions. Helping them to see more about the individuals with which they work is powerful stuff.
3. Playful is the word that will guide my planning process. Being playful keeps me creative.
4. Songs will be gathered from:
- those which spring to mind. Fact is, word relationships and my experiences can inform the songs I select.
- use Google search to feed my list. These are so many songs I don’t know, don’t know well, or just forget about. Searches inform my selections.
- my clients. Asking for their input helps them to connect to the session. (Check out Take Charge of Your Session Planning for more details.)
5. My planning will happen in various time groups. Generally, I’ll plan a quarter of general topic. Then I’ll work out specifics. Final touches will be put on a week or two in advance. You need time to schedule the steps.
6. Session plans will be created in word documents. Holding these in Google docs will make them accessible in various settings. A variety of resources will be used to build out sessions including these. And, of course, I’ll make use of the many ideas stored here for Cafe members.
7. I will continually ask “Who and what does this plan serve?”.
8. Client needs and interests will always be more important than the theme.
9. During the planning, materials to prepare and songs to learn will be identified and added to the calendar.
Hope these 9 rules inspire you.
If you are ready to kick your senior living session planning into gear, come join Session Cafe.