School Energy Vampires

There are lots of ‘Energy Vampires‘ in a school environment that suck the life out of you and meetings are  definitely in the top three.

Shanahan’s Law says:

The length of the meeting rises with the square of the number of people present, and the productiveness of the meeting falls with the square of the number of people present.

(Eileen Shanahan, as quoted in Timestalk, house organ of the New York Times, 1963)

The problem is, teachers bring so much energy to their jobs, they have precious little left when it comes to attending a meeting. Most of the time they don’t even need to be in a meeting as many are a waste of time.

Energy Vampire meetings are the last thing teachers need after a long day or even in the middle of the day.

Many meetings are just simply counter-productive and draining because they happen too often and they are a sure way to alienate staff whose batteries are running on low.

Then there is the problem that your Energy Vampire meeting contains Energy Vampires who suck the life out of everyone with their negative talk and complaining.

Meetings have to happen, we accept that and we all want to come to a meeting that is positive and engaging.

Meetings also need cutting back to the bare minimum and should be places where everyone is equal and not the status arenas they often are.

With the right planning, meetings can be hyper-productive, maximise collaboration and even be inspiring, especially those that are based on best practices.

Done properly, meetings are the most effective way of making decisions and motivating staff and are a key aspect of a High Performance School.

There are ways to improve your staff meetings that can be easy to implement such as adopting a ‘by invitation only’ policy and outlawing AOB – instant crowd pleasers.

So, how else do you make a staff meeting awesome?

The following video is a great insight and should help.

One thought on “School Energy Vampires

  • February 10, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    This could not be more true. I can’t even begin to count the times I could have been working with my students or on prep or analysis on my own. I’m afraid we will no longer have kids entering the teaching profession. I just found your page, and I am enjoying reading every blog you have.
    Fellow cancer warrior


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: