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How to Plan a Workshop or Mini-conference

1. First, plan what kind of event you want, and how big.

For best results, begin planning for a workshop or mini-conference at least 3 months in advance. Plan the type of event you would like to hold, for example:

  • Ninety-minute workshop after a chapter meeting. 15-50 students.
  • 1-day Saturday training with (2) 3-hour workshops with lunch in between. 25-50 students.
  • Mini-conference: (4) 3-hour workshops (2 in the morning and 2 different ones in the afternoon). Participants would have a choice of 2 of the 4. For this event you would want to have a minimum of 50 students to about 90.

Sample Agenda:

8:30am - Registration, continental breakfast
9:00am - 12:00pm - Workshop (3 hours with a 10 minute break)
12:00 - 12:45pm - Lunch
12:45 - 3:45pm - Workshop (3 hours with a 10 minute break)

2. Prepare a budget

Plan a budget for refreshments or meals, advertising, etc. See Funding Sources for ideas.

3. Secure student volunteers

Have students volunteer for various tasks:

  • Requesting campus meeting rooms and audio visual equipment
  • Advertising
  • Refreshments
  • Registration table
  • Posting signs with directions to event
  • Reporter (to take pictures and write about event in SCTA newsletter, etc.)

4. Select workshops to be offered.

The CTA Human Rights Department offers workshops that may be requested by student chapters. Workshops are presented by a cadre of trained teachers and counselors who volunteer their time to provide training. Workshops are available free of charge, but a minimum of 15 participants is required.

  • High Risk Youth Program
  • California Challenge: A Program for Celebrating Diversity
  • Women's Leadership Training

The Instruction & Professional Development Department (IPD) also offers workshops that may be requested by student chapters.

  • I Can Do It (classroom management). This is an all-day training. Check with IPD for dates & locations where it is offered. Sections of the training may be available in a shortened format.
  • Special Education workshops (3 to 6 hours)

CTA staff are also available to present a variety of workshops including: Family, School, Community Partnerships; Extremist Attacks on Public Education, MegaSkills, new teacher issues, etc.

CTA regional Service Centers may also be able to provide trainers in specific areas. Also, contact campus faculty or local community organizations for speakers. For example:

5. Request workshops 2 months in advance.

Whether you are requesting workshops from the Human Rights Department, IPD or securing presenters from campus, CTA or the community, request the workshop 2 months in advance as trainers schedules fill-up quickly.

There is a short form to complete in order to request Human Rights Department workshops. Staff will secure trainers for your event and contact you with trainer information and audio visual requirements. Contact staff at:

Contact the SCTA Office to find contact information for IPD workshops.

6. Advertise event 1 month in advance.

Once workshop trainers have been confirmed, begin to advertise your event.

  • Post eye-catching flyers, mailings, announce in classes, publish in your school newspaper, make chalk drawings on the sidewalks, etc.
  • Have participants register to attend so you know how many to expect. (About 10% of those who register will be no-shows.)
  • If you request Human Rights Department workshops, staff will contact you 1 week prior to the event to find out how many participants have registered. They will ship handout materials via UPS based on the number of participants you expect.
  • Use the event to recruit new members. Advertise that members attend free.

7. Day of the event

Make sure that organizers and volunteers arrive early.

8. After the event

  • Evaluation - It is always important to evaluate an event and receive feedback from participants. This can be done in the form of a short survey or debrief among volunteers. This will be invaluable in planning any future events so that they run smoothly and meet the needs of your members.
  • Publicize - Be sure to take credit for your event! Submit articles and pictures to the campus newspaper and to the SCTA "I Choose to Teach" newsletter. Post pictures and information on your chapter's website or send to the SCTA website.


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