Students arrive in three working days.
The only thing I want to do is work in my classroom. But there are meetings. Obligatory attendance. Would admin know if I skipped?
I admit these feelings as a trained administrator, knowing the importance of the pre-service meetings. If I were to write objectives for the meetings we have had, they would be as follows:
- Build a positive school-wide and divisional culture
- Inform both veteran and incoming faculty of the annual school-wide goals
- Create vision for how faculty and staff fit into the aforementioned goals
- Review policy and procedures, making sure all teachers hear the same message and can communicate the same message to the parent community
- Build knowledge of assessment practices
- Demonstrate how teachers can access student learning data from previous years
- Teach teachers about new hardware and software
- Discuss and set protocol for meetings (updating policies and procedures, with teacher input)
Then there are grade-level meetings, the objectives of which are as follows:
- Establish a feeling of "team" and a culture of trust. Both are important for a Professional Learning Community
- Set up meeting protocols
- Examine the first units of the year, striving for alignment of student learning objectives
- Assign "extra duties", deciding teams of teachers who will plan units, lead out in camp planning, grade-level transitions, and more
- Share ideas and resources
And, there are ad hoc meetings that
- Further educate teachers on the use of technology
- Check-in with new teachers and their mentors
- Further inform grade level leaders and curriculum leaders of the divisional vision for the year, establishing protocols and timelines for how the school-wide goals will be accomplished.
Every year, teachers believe they do not have enough time in their classrooms - it takes me roughly 8 to 16 hours to set up a classroom
. Every year, administrators do their best to consider the necessity of classroom set-up with the desire to move a school forward in terms of strategic plans. Could some of these meetings be eliminated?
The objectives are sound.
I suppose it's a bit like the book Zoom
, where the focus begins in one small place and expands. As the focus expands, the reader sees where all the pictures "fit". In the context of pre-service school, we zoom into our classroom, then we zoom out to see the bigger school-wide goals, then we zoom back in to see how we fit into those goals. Zoom in - zoom out. Repeat.