Stand Up Meetings

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hands up: who likes attending meetings?

… tumbleweed.

Last month I posted one of the most popular blogs on this website, 10 Ways To Demotivate Teachers. When I shared a video version on our Facebook page, the commentary was enlightening!

For the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve often asked myself, ‘how can school leaders make meetings purposeful?’ Teachers spend so much time in meetings, there is little time left during the day, to get things done!

In response to my video, one reader said:

“[TT] is so right about meetings, they really do need to have clear action points and be well lead and be meaningful. As a Head of Department I was always so disappointed in so many of my departmental meetings in the way that staff refused to take so many vital … things seriously. All they wanted to do was laugh about the kids and [senior management team] and gossip about staff.”

Take It Outside:

Another reader then said:

“Hold meetings standing up, no more than 3 items on the agenda, (if you need to discuss other issues schedule another meeting); agree responsibility and timeline before end. Result: more meetings, greater clarity, less wasted time, if the agenda is right higher impact!”
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This was a ‘light-bulb moment for me!
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I have conducted meetings outside in the past; I’ve also walked and talked with colleagues, but it is rare. How often do we conduct meetings in our offices? Only last week, blogger @John_Dabell suggested that we Take It Outside and have ‘walk and talk meetings’ and it raises some important questions.
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Walking meetings might be more suited to those that work in corporate offices, but it can work for teachers too depending on your school site and location. Obviously the purpose and content will dictate whether you venture out or not, but certainly for some meetings they don’t always have to be held inside.

Call To Arms

For the term ahead, why not:

  1. Arrange your next line-management meeting outside.
  2. Have the meeting standing up (or walking around the school premises)
  3. Share 3 simple agenda items in advance.
  4. Be clear on actions, responsibility and ‘by when’.
  5. Enjoy the change of scenery …

You can watch the ‘motivational’ video – as quoted in the opening paragraph – in full, below. (See item 6 for meetings)

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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