Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rethinking Staff PD #SAVMP

Although I have been an administrator for eleven years, I still remember back to my days as a teacher.  My least favorite day was the first teacher day.  It was excruciating for me to sit in a meeting, often for over three hours, listening to the Principal, Assistant Principal, Department Chairs, Superintendent, and various others spew information that I knew I wouldn't remember.  Those who work with me, as well as my family, will tell you that I probably have adult ADD.  Not that that's a bad thing, but I just can't sit still in meetings and keep focused on the task at hand.  With that in mind, I have been "flipping" our staff meetings whenever it is possible.  I also choose activities that either allow us all to move around or have conversations with one another.
Here is what I did for our first meeting as a staff this year.  I sent out this google doc at the end of our district-wide Summer Academy (three days of learning together) in preparation for our meeting the following week.  These were items that I was used to providing during the meeting.  If the staff had any questions about what was in the google doc, they were encouraged to ask them during the meeting or to see me individually or as a grade level team.
Our meeting began at 8:00 and was over by 8:40.  I didn't meet my goal of 30 minutes, but I was close.  We would have finished on time but we spent an extra 10 minutes discussing our copy machine, which is nothing short of a lemon.  This is the google presentation, which I titled "Two Ships", that I shared with the staff.
I know that some times we need to sit and get, or give, information, but I found this approach to be successful and a better use of our time together.
I welcome your comments.