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Effective staff meetings

August 10, 2008

Hello again,

The key to making staff meetings really useful is to keep them to a minimum. In other words, don’t hold weekly meetings for the sake...


... of routine; call them only when they are needed. Of course, in many schools a weekly meeting is necessary, as new intakes arrive and classes may have to be reorganised. But if that is not your situation, then schedule your meetings only when you really have a need to bring everyone together.

It is important to remember that teachers attending staff meetings are working, so the meetings should come out of school time. Don’t try to cram them into lunch breaks and, if they are held after hours, pay for the extra time; at least that is an incentive for keeping them short. Indeed you can work out just how much each mmeting costs as a tool to help ensure they are productive.

Don’t have woolly, unfocused meetings. Always work to an agenda and state the purpose of the meeting clearly. Start the meeting on time. Latecomers will have to catch up; you shouldn’t penalise the punctual by making them wait for the tardy. Respect the timings on the agenda too. Make sure that no individual dominates the meeting and that everybody has a chance to say their piece.

Even if you don’t want formal minutes for meetings, somebody should be responsible for taking notes so that you know who is responsible for doing what as a result of the discussion of each item.
It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well organisationally it is, but the meetings still need to be managed while they are in full swing.

There are always some team members who have sabotaging meetings as one of their hobbies: they may be confrontational (stop them in their tracks and tell them this is not the time for personal onslaughts); they try to deviate from the topic (cut them short and remind them what the items being discussed really is); they may clown around (suggest that they leave if they are not able to make a serious contribution); people may break into smaller side meetings (remind them that everybody is her to discuss the same topic at the same time).

If you build a reputation for tightly run, effective meetings then your team will attend willingly and make useful contributions. Then you can all go to the pub.

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Comments

  1. Hamed hammad Says:

    Hi All,
    I thanks Brenda for reminding me of staff meetings which we have neglected at our schools,They are of crucail importance for us all,some colleagues consider them awaste of time and just afun .If We have aspecific agenda and allocate roles , time,giving everybody an ample opportunity to express his concise opinion,It would be agreat benefit for all staffs all the year round.
    Regards
    Hamed

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