Staff need to get together and meetings are necessary for the effective running of the school.
But not all the time they aren’t. Meetings are held only when necessary.
Meetings that drone on and on sap energy and take people away from more pressing tasks.
School leaders have the power in their hands to change the mood around meetings and making them meaningful. They are meetings managers.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Have a meeting about meetings
Sounds like a nightmare but staff need to chat about they think constitutes a good meeting. Doing this will help to set up some guidelines to follow such as acceptable behaviours during a meeting (i.e. no marking, checking phones, chatting to each other while someone else is talking etc).
2. Give ownership
I’m a firm believer in letting every member of staff run a meeting. This helps others see the complexities involved.
3. Give out an agenda
If you turn up for a meeting without being given an agenda beforehand then it will be a crap meeting. An agenda has to be shared prior to getting together so that staff have opportunities to make suggestions and comments.
4. Let them know when
Meetings need to be put in the diary not sprung on staff without notice. Sometimes an emergency crops up and a meeting is called out of the blue but this is to be expected and accepted.
5. Decide on a day
A specific day needs to be the day you have your meeting. This allows people to manage their time more effectively and mentally prepare.
6. The meeting is timed
Meetings have a fixed time of no more than an hour. Staff are often brain dead after a day rushing about teaching, doing assemblies, break duty and clubs. The idea isn’t to push your staff over the edge so the meeting starts on time and ends on time.
7. Talk time
Meetings are not one-way traffic. Time needs to be given for discussions.
8. Give, give, give
Meetings need an element of fun and so small enjoyable activities and icebreakers can lighten the mood.
People will drag themselves in knackered and look like they have been dragged through a hedge backwards. Provide some food and nibbles so they can pick at and re-energise.
At the end of the meeting a quick summary is given and next steps are aired.
Teachers have had enough of ‘death by meeting’ but they do need opportunities to see each other to build relationships.