Yesterday, I ran a DM round table/training on using lesson planning tools for session planning. While it was a bit of an odd mix between a winding conversation between a bunch of therapeutic and applied DMs, there was also some structure around discussing ways to do better, directed session planning, and the benefits of it.
I primarily focused on the Lesson/Session planning model I've outlined earlier, but it focuses on a behavioral goal at it's base, then builds on top of that plot/role playing goals that help address the behavioral goal, then adds any mechanical notes, doing this activity for the group as a whole as well as individual players. It's a very good way to stay very intentional around what you do, and also be able to address specific player's needs. On top of that, by taking notes on how the goal implementation went, that gives you helpful data when parents ask, 'What are you doing with my child,' as you can pull up that specific incident, state how the player responded, and use that to direct the conversation around next steps, which helps keep you accountable, and helps show that the work you are doing has value- as unfortunately there are many who still feel that therapeutic D&D groups are not worthwhile, and there still isn't a large enough body of research to resoundingly disagree.
In any scenario, afterwards, I realized that this would be a great bi-monthly activity, an Applied RPG DM round table, where DMs from all areas get together for a few hours during the weekend to discuss a specific topic, then open it up to discussion about troubleshooting issues they're having at their own tables, or issues with the community at large. Some topics that came up were:
-How to get more people into D&D in the era of social distancing, when people need social activities more than ever, but it's harder to meet up with people.
-How to deal with players with boundary issues (which often results in disruptive murder hobos)
-The state of the research
-Using D&D in educational settings
As such, I'm thinking of hosting a bimonthly D&D round table over Zoom, most likely Saturdays at 2pm PST. I'm shying away from doing further trainings as I feel that it is better to just have an open forum for sharing information and thoughts. Let me know if you're interested in attending, and what subjects you want discussed, and I'll post details on my twitter @rollforkindness.
Thanks and stay safe!