Thursday, August 23, 2007


One of the downsides of teaching in a modified calendar school is the number of meetings we have to attend now. As the rest of the school district is gearing up to get started there are numerous meetings going on. This week I was out of the building Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for three different meetings. (I hope my students remember me next week!)

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):
  1. Respect teachers' time. Every moment in meetings and PD should be valuable and worthwhile.
  2. Give them time to reflect and process.
If those two things were at the forefront of the minds of anyone planning meetings I have to attend, I would have a lot more interest in being there.


Carolyn Foote said...

Thanks for the reminder! I've been tasked with helping with staff development this year.

I will try to keep your excellent points in mind at all times!

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