How to: Documenters Community of Practice

We’re excited to launch Documenters Community of Practice, a monthly gathering for mutual support and action. Anyone can learn to host parts of the monthly Documenters Community of Practice held the 4th Thursday of the month.

There are 5 Roles on the team:

  • Welcome
  • Tech Tips
  • New & Good
  • Introduce Breakout Sessions/Close Breakout Sessions and
  • Check-out

Here’s how the evening flows:


Thank you for joining us today to learn and share about documenting public meetings and growing a pool of communal public knowlegde. My name is _______and I’m a member of the Neighbor Up Network where our mission is “To ignite the power of everyday people to create, together, an extraordinary world right where they live.”

Showing up here today means you are now a member of the Neighbor Up Network. If you’d like to be added to our email and text list please enter your contact info into the chat box.

Community of Practice is a learning exchange we create TOGETHER for anyone interested in Documenters. We invite you to please take and use these practices. We’ll go until about 7:30 today; we hope you can stay the whole time, but know it’s ok to step out whenever you need to.

We only ask that you bring your best self, come prepared to both learn AND teach, and actively participate in creating and maintaining a positive learning environment. And of course, you’re welcome to bring food and drink with you!

Tech Tips

(First ask, “Who here is new to Zoom?” and if no one is, we can skip the ones below this paragraph, and just share these:)

1) invite everyone to open and use the Chat Box – ask them to “Please open it now; so many gifts show up there.”

2) Alert folks that “everything here is by invitation so as respect for you, we won’t unmute you or turn on your video – but we hope you’ll stay unmuted unless there is background noise,

3) if anyone is on their phone we suggest putting it on “Do Not Disturb” so they don’t get kicked off Zoom by an incoming call, and

4) give a phone number in case someone runs into a tech problem.

Who’s staffing the chat box today? Wave hi! (name them – then the Main Host will thank the rest of the team for today)
And now for some quick tips on using Zoom so that we can flow a little more easily. If you are a Zoom expert already, we thank you for your patience.

Muting: We invite you to keep your mic unmuted unless you have a lot of background noise.
Note: we will not unmute you or ask you to share your video. If you are having difficulty, send a note in chat.

Chat Function: To maximize your participation please open the chat function by maximizing Zoom on your screen, hovering over and clicking the “chat” button on the bottom of your screen. You should then see a chat bar on the side of your screen. If you are on your phone, you can tap in the bottom right corner of your screen to get the chat function.

Who’s staffing the chat box today? Wave hi! (name them)

If the screen is freezing or the sound is cutting out, consider stopping your video. You can still see us and hear us, and we can hear you when you’re not muted. If you are connecting from your phone any call or text coming in will mute this gathering on your end. If you’d like to avoid that, we suggest you set your phone to Do Not Disturb.

Check In: New & Good

One of our PRACTICES, or fundamental ways we do this work, is to start every gathering with a check in.

This practice is an opportunity for everyone to briefly meet others, and to put their voice into this space. Focusing on what’s new and good also helps us get primed and energized for this gathering. 

Life is full of…

  • difficulties and struggles 
  • also filled with beauty, generosity, mini successes and large accomplishments. 

Let’s go around, and let us know your Name, Neighborhood or the Community you’re connected to, and something new and good in your life.

(We then go into our Group Learning when we have a 20-minute group learning conversation.)

Breakout Conversations Intro

Introduce Breakout Session choices (First, take time to generate new topics for the breakouts. Second, read the choices from the shared document, ask folks to vote with their screens and enter their room choice in the chat)

Brief Meditation or Music while we organize the breakout rooms.

After Break Out Sessions
What is an “ah-ha” or action step that came from being in your breakout? OR what other takeaway from your breakout that you want to share with the main room? Please add it here in the chat.

Check Out

What is a gift are you taking from today?
What do you want to remember?
How are you feeling now compared to when you first arrived here today?

(invite to Hang Out Parking Lot)