In the latest issue of Principal, we asked for ideas to make staff meetings more efficient. Here’s how some of you answered:

Careful advance planning is one key to efficient and effective staff meetings. Principals should be able to clearly articulate the purpose of the meeting, every agenda item, and the outcomes sought. Clarity about these points is essential for planning productive, relevant, and engaging staff meeting experiences that build staff capacity and foster positive collaborative relationships. Faculty value well organized, thoughtfully facilitated meetings in which work is actually accomplished. Building staff investment and meaningful participation in this important time together requires significant up-front planning.

Ayesha Farag-Davis, former principal, Poland, Maine

In my observations, deeply meaningful work is rarely accomplished with large groups of people who all have very different challenges and agendas. The really important decisions are best made by small groups of the most crucial stakeholders in each particular instance, for example each grade level has an RTI meeting once a month to discuss the students they are most concerned about and what possible solutions might be tried.
The key is knowing your staff and their unique needs and then finding ways to meet those needs without overloading everyone with more meetings. I don't believe in meeting just to meet. No clear purpose...no meeting. It's that simple. Send an e-mail or put it in the weekly staff newsletter. Your staff will thank you for it!

Kim Fox, via linkedin

At our staff meetings it is all professional learning. We no longer discuss anything that can go into my Friday staff notes. We are much more productive.

Dianne Holmes, via linkedin

At every staff meeting we spend a lot of time having professional discussions about students. More specifically, what types of individual supports are in place that ALL staff should be aware of. For example, if a behavior goal for a student is to not hit or push any other students, then we do not take on the small battles with that student such as running in the hall. Yes, we remind the student to slow down, but we do not make the student stop and go back and walk properly.

David Campbell, via linkedin

What's your favorite strategy to make staff meetings more efficient?

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