In my last blog, Principal Plans For First Day Back With Staff, I talked about the purpose for that first meeting. I wanted to develop a team atmosphere, make sure we were all on the same page and plan for that first day and the first week. I sketched out a rough draft of the agenda a few days before writing the blog and finished the final draft a few days after posting.
Below is an excerpt of what I’d prepared for the first third of our meeting:
First Staff Meeting 19-20 School Year Agenda 12:40-4:00
Purpose/Connect, Update, Plan, Refresh and Learn
Welcome everybody as usual and thank you for coming in on time. Explain cameras. On the agenda are 4 topics (look at agenda pause after reading each topic. Turn to the group, freeze bod and count internally 3,2,1,
Before we start (walk a few feet away from Agenda) I imagine some of you are feeling a bit low in energy after lunch, and maybe from waking up earlier than you have the past few weeks, some would probably love to be in your classrooms putting the final touches to your welcoming space. (gesture outside the classroom) At the same time, given your love for ACCE, building relationships and providing the opportunity to learn in engaging ways you may be wondering what can happen here that can make this worth you while.
The first topic welcome and check-in will help get us focused and centered. The second item, team building will help us to build and strengthen the relationships we have together. The third items will give you information about changes as well as get input for our first day and Friday mornings, and our final topic will get us ready for building those relationship bonds with our students.
I’m excited about the expansion of our team with Mr. J, Ms. W, Ms. Ml and Ms. M who will have a chance for a mini intro during our check in. For the newbies We typically have our staff meetings in this physical arrangement as the circle intentionally symbolizes our unity and focus on creating a family here. Physically it also allows us all to see each other without a physical barrier between which helps to create psychological and emotional safety.
Touch on working agreements and seven norms of collaboration
Our check in today:
T- summary of feelings
S- give a brief summary paraphrase of expectations
Draw two names out of basket to summarize
The first two paragraphs where I give myself physical direction as well as the format is adapted from the book The Adaptive School.
I told the staff that the cameras were up so I could record myself facilitating a meeting in order to do some reflection and improve my skills. I also told them if I was stilted or came off a bit odd it was because I knew I was recording myself and felt awkward. Explaining the cameras is where the bombing came in. It turns out that this is all that recorded for 32 minutes.
All I could see was the two boards and all I could hear was an occasional outburst of loud talking when I’d gotten passionate.
I had completely set the cameras at the wrong angle. Both of them!
I sent the staff the same picture and let them know that my first attempt at digital recording and reflection was a dud. I want them to see and understand that taking risks is a learning process and doesn’t always start out perfect. I hope to set an example of that growth mindset that we talk about so much.
What’s something you tried and failed forward at with your staff? Share your experience in the comment section below. If you found this entertaining, educational or cause for reflection, please follow me and click share so your friends and colleagues can benefit as well.
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I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm an owner of a new food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......