By Colin Sloper and Gavin Grift
Traditionally, whole school staff meetings have been a convenient way of communicating and sharing information with a large number of people at one time.
But even with the best of intentions, meetings can easily turn into time-wasting ‘talkfests’.
In a high-performing professional learning community (PLC), it’s vital that staff meetings focus on the learning needs of collaborative teams and the teachers who serve them.
Here’s seven practical strategies you can use to ensure staff meetings have a real impact on student learning.
1. Embrace inquiry over informing
Ensure the leadership team understands that every staff meeting should focus on inquiring into what the teams need to succeed in achieving high levels of learning for all students – rather than simply sharing information.
The leadership team must recognise that the collaborative team process is the central school improvement methodology for the whole school, not just part of the work.
2. Each agenda item must help educators improve student learning
One strategy is to always refer to this question when planning a meeting: How does this agenda item support our educators’ teaching practice to improve student learning?
Professional learning should support the action research process that each team is implementing. In this way, staff see that meetings are supportive of their professional learning needs, and directly related to school improvement.