You can’t escape the staff meeting.  They are a necessary component of school operations.  No having them is not an option.  Since they have to be done, do them right.  Most of the advice written on the topic addresses what should be discussed, so there is no need to recover that ground.  What I want to discuss is when to schedule them.  What most schools do is schedule staff meetings in a manner that is most convenient to administration.  Which means that there is one big meeting, either before school or after school, and staff better get there.  Most do, but no matter what one time is selected, there are always a couple of staff that cannot attend.  The administrative response? Get increasingly angry at the seemingly non-compliant. But what I want you to consider is this – if you operate on the one time, get there or else, staff meeting schedule, the issue of absent staff is primarily a leadership issue. A one time only meeting will always set up somebody to fail, often for legitimate reasons.  Which means the real solution is to have multiple meetings on the same topic (agenda).  Here are two ways to do this. The Easy Solution: Have two staff meetings that cover the same topics.  Staff meeting 1 is held in the afternoon, immediately after school.  Staff meeting 2 is held the next morning before school.  Now coaching assignments aren’t an issue, getting kids to school isn’t an issue, traffic isn’t an issue, etc.  It doesn’t matter which staff meeting you attend just get to one on time. Now the legitimate reasons for missing a staff meeting evaporate to almost none. The E. Don Brown solution (Ph.D. level): Have a staff meeting day.  On staff meeting day, the principal has the same meeting during each conference period.  This forces a number of positive and productive things to occur. 1. Meetings must be short, so the agenda only address issues that are pertinent and critical. 2. The group size is smaller, so discussions are tighter and more relevant to each small group. 3. Each teacher now has more direct face time with the boss. The goal of a staff meeting is to get everyone on the same page.  That can’t happen if you can’t get everyone to the meeting. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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