A while back, I wrote a post on Classroom Meetings that Matter. Many teachers are embracing the notion that classroom meetings are really important to build a positive classroom climate; especially at the beginning of the year.
I got to thinking about our own meetings as teachers. There are a lot of complaints about staff meetings through teacher circles and even a few good jokes. It's equally as important that STAFF build a positive school climate. Not only does it create a collegial environment in which to work but the trickle over effect on the whole school is evident when teachers work together with administration and feel like valued professionals.
Staff meetings look different on any campus. The meetings are also run differently depending on the goals of the school, the administrator or the district. So just what do teachers feel would make staff meetings more valuable and relevant? I asked my Facebook followers what they thought would make an ideal staff meeting. Here's what they said:
"It would include authentic team building and stress management. I yearn for authenticity." - Barbara S
"I think staff meeting should be about the well being of our students. It would be great if we could spend more time sharing about at risk students, not just academically but also emotionally. More focus needs to be put on the actual children rather than their 'data". " - Cathy F
" I like smaller staff meetings. When the English department at my school meets it is more dynamic and valuable. Larger informational meetings I feel, could often be replaced by an e-mail. However, it is nice to get the staff together as a chance to learn from one another." - Melted ELT Activities
"I wish they could be more collaborative. Staff meetings typically have an admin-generated agenda and involve admin lectures, or...useless PD. I generally just tune it all out. More involvement from all staff would be ideal!" - Kristi S
"Most meetings should be conducted through an email." - Michel T
" I think all our staff meetings should be about best practices for student achievement and content meetings to discuss cross curricular standards." - Kristal S
"Direct. Honest. Nothing over the top silly. Done quickly." - Jenny M
"Do not hold a meeting to share what could be put in print or in an email." - Sidney M
I think many of these comments share a common idea that staff meetings are important but only when they are relevant to helping teachers teach better and students learn better. Teachers here have shared how they feel we can get there. Many meetings involve things that can be expressed through an email. That reminds me of this comment I once saw that pertained to teaching and how 21st century learning is changing the way we teach. Shouldn't our staff meetings also reflect this change in mindset?
A growth mindset ideally would not only apply to students but to teachers as well. Holding effective, collaborative and meaningful meetings is a start to get us started in this growth process.
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