Making Staff Meetings Meaningful
By Nancy Mikhail
Staff Meeting Day. The day of the week to which teachers don’t look forward. After a long day of teaching, that’s the last thing they want to do.
Sometimes, we have to reinvent the wheel and change up our staff meetings. Terry Heick talks about how to “Transform Your Staff Meetings, Engage Your Faculty” and mentions four problems with staff meetings and how to solve them. The four solutions consist of:
- Asking teachers what they need
- Leave the “housekeeping” items for social media
- Don’t have meetings after long days
- Help educators interact with technology
Instead of wasting time with “housekeeping” items, open discussions about how to improve literacy or problems with students. Heick says, “…do things that engage the genius in (rather than the endurance of) your teachers.” This quote really engaged me. Teachers are so talented and should be given the opportunities to use their talents all throughout the day (even during staff meetings). He also says to include technology in the meetings. Not a standard presentation, but more along the lines where teachers can bring in their own devices and share their favorite apps.
When I was a principal, it took me a long time to plan my staff meetings because I truly wanted them to be meaningful and I wanted the teachers to gain something from them. Here are a couple extra tips that could help your staff meetings become more meaningful:
- Turn it into an open forum where teachers can talk about their ideas. The best professional development for teachers is each other. Teachers should bounce ideas off one another about lessons, student behavior, and classroom management.
- Provide team-building exercises for the teachers. Teachers are a community and they need opportunities to connect with one another. This can be a simple 5 minute activity at the beginning of the lesson. It can be something simple that “wakes” everyone up after a long day.
Staff meetings have been the same, mundane meetings for a while. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and change it up!