Tip #745: Rituals in Training

There is comfort in rituals, and rituals provide a framework for stability when you are trying to find answers.” Deborah Norville

I recently conducted a two-day class on How to Design Accelerated Learning Programs. It reminded me of the importance of rituals, something that the participants can anticipate will be repeated. And it got me thinking about what constituted a ritual. Here are my thoughts:

  1. At the beginning of a program, I use a Koosh toss to have participants introduce themselves. At the end of every day, I use a Koosh toss to have participants report out their key takeaways.
  2. I repeat a key concept throughout the day by asking the participants to explain it.
  3. Once I’ve taught a peg system (concepts associated with numbers and movements), I call on the group to demonstrate it at different times throughout the day.
  4. I use an agenda wall map, referring to it to show what we’ve covered and where we’re going in terms of content every time we change to a new topic.
  5. I play music during breaks. (I know that others use music as a cue that breaks are over.)
  6. I ask a focus question just before a break: “Please be thinking about (the next topic)” to prime the participants to participate immediately after break.
  7. I use an energizer mid afternoon of each day.
  8. I have participants change their tablemates at noon on the first day and at the beginning of the session and noon of succeeding days.
  9. I use a bell chime to indicate when an activity should stop.
  10. I always provide bowls of candy that I keep filled during the day.
  11. I always put kites on the walls for decoration.

Maybe some of these rituals are mine as opposed to rituals for the class…

There are other rituals, possibly more ritual-ly than those I’ve listed above, such as:

  1. Doing a stretch at various points in the day.
  2. Having a volunteer participant lead the group in a brief physical exercise at the same time every day.

What other rituals can you add to this list?

May your learning be sweet.


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