If you’ve been in staff meetings long enough, you would agree with me that, at some point, you had felt some of those meetings were a total waste of your time.
You had even wished it had been conducted via email as it would have saved you the stress.
That’s not an exciting experience for teachers if you ask me! That’s why, in this article, I will be spilling the tea on how staff meetings can be designed to be engaging and inclusive for teachers, helping them maximize collaboration, learning, and community, and learning for the best results.
So, whether you’re a teacher or you own an institution and you want your staff meetings to be less monotonous, you can follow these steps:
Teachers always emphasize the importance of speaking and choosing when they teach.
However, you can apply the same to staff meetings by asking teachers for feedback on what they think should be on the agenda.
That way, it would be a cocreated agenda based on input from teachers.
Also, after meetings, you can give teachers feedback forms for them to anonymously fill.
The feedback should be on whether or not the meeting was useful and what could be done to improve their experience.
After going through their feedback, make it a point to implement them in the next meeting. You would be surprised at the results this singular act will inspire.
Always give teachers the opportunity to have discussions.
At staff meetings, give time for them to collaborate and think. You can encourage them to share their thoughts on certain issues or you could group them in a way that they can connect deeply.
Encouraging them to get up and chat, get snacks, stretch, write notes, walk and talk, etc., enables them relax and have meaningful discussions about their practice with their colleagues.
Encourage social and emotional learning
The pandemic disrupted the educational system, and teachers have risen up to the challenge of continuously meeting the needs of students both in person and remotely.
As there are discussions about supporting mental health and wellbeing, the same should go for teachers as well.
Staff meetings should be carefully planned out in a way that teachers can have time to gather their thoughts, refresh their minds, and connect with others. Their concerns should be given much thought and attention.
Social and emotional learning will enable you to have at the back of your mind that there will be teachers who are physically and emotionally down and allow you plan staff meetings in a way that will uplift them.
Allowing them to find balance with this step is a great way to create awareness of their realities and at the same time, show techniques that could be applied in classrooms.
Amplify their successes
This is, by far, the most effective of the bunch. Always make time in staff meetings to showcase and appreciate best practices.
When you see great teaching in classrooms, ask that teacher to share their practice with their colleagues in staff meetings.
Their best practices could be the discussion protocols they use, innovative formats they use for assessments or even the lessons they teach their students.
Just a few minutes of showing their colleagues how they do things with the aim of motivating them to try new methods.
We bet you didn’t know that staff meetings could be this cool. Well, now you do.
Staff meetings can encourage collaboration, can be uplifting, and fun with the right planning.
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