How Might We Create Irresistible Faculty Meetings?

I’ll be honest – I don’t know the answer to this question yet. However, I am intrigued by it. And committed to the ideal.

Our family is full of educators. I love it because we get to “talk shop” and compare notes. Yesterday, a close family member recounted the tale of her first faculty meeting this week that consisted of a principal reading the emergency crisis plan for two hours. We’ve all sat through some doozies.


Tomorrow we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s famous speech. To borrow the iconic and powerful phrase, and in no way whatsoever drawing a comparison, “I have a dream”…

I have a dream of a year full of faculty meetings that flip the traditional mental model on its ear. Faculty meetings that are so valuable to our team’s practice that teachers are upset if they have to miss it. Faculty meetings that generate a word of mouth buzz in the community. Meetings that people don’t mind paying admission to gain access. Yes, irresistible faculty meetings.

How do we get there? 

Start by asking the “user” about their experience and what they need/want. So, teachers, consider this an invitation. Post your responses. Share your ideas. I’ll be asking. I’ve already started.

What is your best faculty meeting experience? What is your worst?

Some sound bytes from an educator at another school (who may or may not live in my house)…
– avoid just a presentation of information
– anything that breaks from the dry norm
– no policy meetings where people just talk
– i can read it on my own
– don’t feel like you have to fill it just because it is scheduled
– gift card giveaways
– bring in external experts, funny with new insights

Some of my own thoughts…
– I like to start with celebrations (wins, parent emails, birthday cake, good stuff)
– I like the meetings to be connected to the larger Professional Learning design
– I like to empower teachers to share their best
– I hope to inspire teachers and “fill their cups” – this is a place to connect and replenish
– I want to try creating some short videos (for comedy, for illustrating helpful scenarios)
– I want to hear and share stories; I want us to solve problems
– I love the idea of demo slams, but perhaps occasionally trying focused demo slams (for example, instead of giving everyone 60 seconds to introduce any new app, website, or tech thing, the constraint is placed so sharing is only focused on things we are using – so each teacher would have 60 seconds to share a useful insight on how they organize their google drive folders or color code their email, or what useful tips they can share about e-portfolios, understanding by design, or chromebooks, etc.)

What are your thoughts?

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