One interesting facet of attending these meetings now, a month into the school year, rather than before school started, is that I have less patience for my time being wasted. If I have to be out of the classroom then I expect my time to be used well.
In all the meetings, at least three-quarters of the information could have been handled in email. In two of the meetings PowerPoint presentations were read to us (a personal pet peeve). The most useful time in each meeting was the opportunity to talk, plan, organize, and work with one or more colleagues. That time was essential. It also allowed us to reflect and process information we had been given. Frequently so much information is crammed into meetings for educators that we have no time for processing. The result is that we don't make use of the information because we haven't been able to figure out how it affects us, how to make it our own.
Should I end up in a role in which I am planning meetings or professional development for teachers I want to remember two things (at least):
- Respect teachers' time. Every moment in meetings and PD should be valuable and worthwhile.
- Give them time to reflect and process.