Do you ever dread after school staff meeting days?
Sometimes listening to the administrator drone on and on for over an hour seems like a little too much to bear. Especially when you have grading to do, messes to clean up, copying tomorrow’s materials, and parent phone calls yet to make before you can leave the building for the day.
I have been there, done that.
So how can we make this time more fun – and actually something that staff members look forward to instead?
Changing School Staff Meeting Agendas
Here are a few ways that might make a difference:
While this probably does already happen, how often do the person(s) in charge of the after school meeting forget? More times than I like. In fact, it’s one of the biggest draws to that meeting room.
Perhaps instead of different people being in charge each time, everyone instead donates cash to the meeting fund, and then the social committee makes sure it gets taken care of – and they have some good spreads! Maybe even ask for a PTO/PTA donation?
Some of the best food choices include meat and cheese trays, fruit trays, sub sandwiches, or a dessert bar of any type.
Potlucks are fun too, but personally I prefer those for staff lunch times rather than the staff meeting since that time is already a little short to begin with. If a potluck lives in the staff lounge all day, then staff members are more likely to be able to enjoy during their planning period and/or lunch time at more of a leisurely pace.
When was the last time you showed up to a jam session in the school library or cafeteria for a meeting?
How fun would it be to have a few staff members learn the latest TikTok dance craze and teach it to the rest of the staff as people are coming in?
Not only will be a great way to get some energy into the room after a long teaching day, but I bet the students would also be super impressed with their teacher the next day when he or she shows them some mad dance skills.
I can bet at least a couple people on staff love to shake their money maker and would love to lead a short dance tutorial.
One thing I always dreaded during our meetings was that it was all business, from the very start of the time to the end.
There was no time to actually chat and catch up with others.
Having time to connect with colleagues helps to strengthen the bond between them. And don’t all admins want a strong team that works well together and actually enjoys one another’s company?
Then why do they not allow staff time to just get to know one another in their own way?
And I don’t necessarily mean doing cooperative learning activities with other adults – but just letting everyone enjoy some music, food, and conversation. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes.
Plus, that’s a great time for the principal to walk around and chat with their teachers too.
It never seems like there’s any time set aside during the work day to just be a person with the other people we see day in and day out.
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Of course, the whole point of a staff meeting is to actually have staff announcements that can be covered when everyone is all in the same room at once.
But here’s a thought: Can those same announcements get put in an email instead?
And if the admin is worried not everyone will read it – ask them instead to print it and turn in a quick signature on it to prove they actually read them and are now responsible for the info on that page?
I don’t know about you, but I loathe having a meeting that covers the same things that could be said in an email instead.
Now – of the typically staff meeting announcements are going by the way of the written word, then you should just skip the staff meeting time, right?
I do think there’s something to be said for the staff getting together (as mentioned in the ideas above), but it can also prove to be a super useful time to cover things THEY want to cover.
Idea: A week before the staff meeting, the principal sends everyone an email that asks what their most pressing issue was that week. Only one answer needs to be replied to. Or do it anonymously in an old school box in the staff lounge or office.
Then the admin takes all those notes and actually comes up with some simple solutions for those topics – without mentioning specific names or situations obviously.
Now the staff meetings are basically teacher-led rather than just having to sit through random announcements from the district office. And they are actually providing something of value. Practical application ideas for specific and timely teacher problems in the classroom.
Just some food for thought as administrators are choosing how to lead their school each school year.
Need a food way to document information during the staff meeting?
Grab this fun pack of templates that includes a cute cover, a blank calendar, and a notes page.
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What other ways have you found that make staff meetings more fun and useful to you? We would love to hear even more ideas in the comments below!