Faculty Meetings. From Dissemination. To Engagement. Jessica Lyons MaryBeth Scullion Rachel Wagner City of Tonawanda School District, NY

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1 Faculty Meetings From Dissemination To Engagement Jessica Lyons MaryBeth Scullion Rachel Wagner City of Tonawanda School District, NY

2 Presentation Overview Traditionally, faculty meetings have been forums for information dissemination. A typical meeting involves the faculty assembling together in a large forum, perhaps an auditorium, where they sit passively listening to the administrator deliver state testing results, the building budget, building issues, and a host of other managerial topics. The end of the meeting would be reserved for teacher questions, concerns, or comments, which would usually turn into an impassioned debate over whether or not to impose time limits at the copier. However, this is probably not the most productive use of faculty meeting time, if we are to increase the instructional capacity of our teachers to meet the national academic standards. Administrivia should be relayed via memo, weekly bulletin, or prior to each meeting. Staff meetings should be devoted to the practices of teaching and learning. The goal is to model the type of learning culture we envision for teachers and students: participatory, differentiated, collaborative, and reflective. When faculty meetings are developed from this point of view they become exciting, enlightening, and relevant to a teacher s work. They encourage impassioned professional conversations about teaching and learning, instead of the proper way to staple papers to a bulletin board. The purpose of this presentation is to inspire a paradigm shift in the way you approach your faculty meetings. It is meant to spark new ideas and approaches in your leadership. Every leader has their own style and every staff has a unique set of needs. The structure we offer in this presentation is designed to be modified and adjusted to meet your individual needs. -To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Buckminster Fuller

3 Success to Steps Pre-planning is the key to success when it comes to engaging faculty meetings. Location. Location. Location. Reserve a location that is conducive for active learning. People should be able to meet in groups and get up to move freely about the room. In the event the faculty is too large to be accommodated by any available room try splitting the faculty meetings into two sessions. Materials. Place materials into baskets for groups to easily access as they work on activities. It also makes collection at the end of the activity a breeze. Some materials to include are: Post-It notes, markers, index cards, pens, pencils, paper, etc. Pre-seat groups. Make name tents with the faculty names printed on one side. They can be set out on the tables before the meeting starts. This allows you to seat people with certain strengths each table, departments together, mix grade levels, etc. Miscellaneous. Select upbeat/thematic music to play as faculty enters. Create surveys for teachers to complete when they enter. Send out informative documents prior to the meeting. Put teacher names on popsicle sticks for random drawing.

4 Give Teachers A Voice We, as professionals, want to know that our input is valued. When we have the ability to participate in the decision-making there is a sense of empowerment. The inclusion of teachers in the decision-making process is more apt to make them feel that things aren t done to them rather they are being done with them. However, administrators tend to veer away from this practice due to the fact that open forum decision-making usually turns into impassioned debates where a consensus is rarely achieved. And, in the end, the administrator has to make the final decision giving the impression that sides are being taken. Therefore, school leaders make individual decisions to avoid unproductive debates and avoid creating fissures in professional relationships. It is possible to include teachers in the decision-making process without the negative fallout. The utilization of data gathering programs allows teachers to vote and see the results of the majority. This methodology puts the responsibility on the teachers to make the decisions based on their profession experience about what works best for them, parents, and students. Poll Everywhere. This is a free on-line program that allows participants to use their phones or computers to vote remotely. The data is readily available to share with the faculty for discussion and decision making. Google Forms. All you need to participate is a free g-mail account. A google form can be created and ed to the staff for completion. The results are available in a spreadsheet that can be shared with the staff. How could you use a survey in your faculty meeting?

5 To Getting Know You The observable interaction between people in a school is an indicator of school climate. Teachers often work in isolation and only interact with a small group of the faculty members. They are not aware of the other talents, contributions, and perspectives that make up the organization. When teachers are given the opportunity to share personally and professionally positive relationships are created, and they are more apt to take pride in their school. Start faculty meetings with activities for members to learn about their colleagues personally and professionally. Notes. Teachers can write notes to other teachers expressing their gratitude for their actions. Gratitude has a positive effect making us feel more connected to one another and boosts our own self-worth both essential aspects of a positive school climate. We use our mascot the Warrior to promote the Warrior Way. Teachers that receive a Warrior Way card are entered into a drawing at the end of the faculty meeting for prizes. Who Said It? Find out interesting facts about your staff. At the beginning of the meeting, read facts about some of the faculty members and see if the other members can guess the mystery person. This can be done in a Power- Point slide. Two Facts, One Fiction. This is a Kagan Cooperative Learning activity. Each faculty member write two facts and one fiction about themselves. The other members have to try to determine which of the three statements is the fiction. Behind Your Back. In groups of three or four have one member turn his/her back to the others. For a set amount of time (e.g. one minute), the other members take turns saying positive things about that person, such as their character strengths, how they uniquely contribute to the workplace environment, etc. When the facilitator indicates that time is up, this process is repeated for the next member of the group, and so on, until each member gets a chance to hear their colleagues talking (positively) behind their back!

6 Building Instructional Capacity The main purpose of moving from dissemination to engagement is to increase the instructional capacity of the teachers. Traditional faculty meetings model the sit and get method. As administrators, we need to illustrate the practices that we value and expect when we observe learning. Research dictates that active learning increases high order thinking and deeper learning of the content. Therefore, it would behoove us, as administrators, to model this practice during our monthly faculty meetings. The decision for the purpose of the meeting will depend on a variety of factors, but decisions should be embedded in data. These data can be harvested based on observations/ experiences. Data also allows to show that a particular strategy is working and is concrete evidence of success. You notice that there has been an increase in students sent to the office for discipline. By tracking the incidents, you can share the data with teachers and structure faculty meetings to increase classroom management skills. When observing teachers, time the number of minutes spent on teacher-directed instruction. Share the average number of minutes students participate in sit and get mode. Structure faculty meetings to include strategies for active engagement to reduce the number of teacher-directed minutes. The district has adopted a new teacher evaluation rubric. The teachers are having difficulty discussing the domains. The faculty meetings could be used to actively involve the teachers in learning the new rubric and how their instruction fits into each of the domains. What topics might you investigate for your faculty meetings?

7 A Faculty Meeting Flipping a faculty meeting affords administrators the ability to disseminate information or provide professional development. It really depends on your situation. If you are unable to schedule a faculty meeting, flipping is a great way to still connect with your staff. On the other hand, you may want to free up faculty meeting time for professional learning and use flipping of getting important school information out to the staff. Whatever the reason, it is easy to do! Select a Platform. This is a program that allows you to upload the video you have created. The teachers will go to this site to view the video. Edmodo. This free site allows you to set up groups for grade levels and departments to share videos with the staff. My Big Campus. A paid site you can purchase for the teachers. Once they are members you can share your videos. Create a video. There are many different ways to create a video. You can type in information, record a voice over, and/or add video of yourself. Screencast-o-matic. You can record anything on the screen, use a voice recording, and add video wit this free program. Powtoon. A free creative animation that allows you to type information on the screen for people to read. Camtasia. A program you can purchase when you are ready to go beyond simple techniques. It allows you to upload multiple videos, type text, and voice record.

8 Instructional Strategies Two Facts, One Fiction 1. Each participant gets a sticky note/white board/half sheet of paper 2. They write two facts and one fiction (this can be an ice breaker about themselves or it can be used for instructional content they just learned). They number as they write each response as they go along. 3. Each participant will share. As the participant shares the other members hold up their fingers to indicate the number they think is the fiction. 4. The participant reveals the correct answer and activity moves clockwise until all participants have shared. Jigsaw 1. Divide participants into groups of 4 or 5. Label groups A,B,C,D,E. Provide each member with a note-taking sheet for each sub-topic area. 2. Divide the topic into 4 or 5 segments (depending on the size of the groups). For example, if the topic is classroom management, you might divide into the following subtopics: (1) transitions, (2) setting expectations, (3) room organization, and (4) stream-line administrative tasks (i.e. passing back papers...while students sit idle). 3. Each participant will count off in their group (1,2,3,4), so that each person has a number. Reveal the numbered sub-topics. 4. The ones will go to one area and become experts on their sub-topic, the twos, three, and fours will go to different parts of the room. They will read, watch a video, discuss, answer pre-set questions, or whatever you have provided for them to learn about the sub-topic. 5. They will fill in information on their sheet corresponding with the number of the sub-topic group (i.e. (3) room organization...they will write the information next to the number 3 on the sheet. 6. Bring the participants back into their original groups (A,B,C,D). Each group will have a 1,2,3,4 to share all sub-topic information learned in the satellite groups. 7. The presentations will begin with number 1 presenting, while the others take-notes and ask clarifying questions.

9 Gallery Walk Instructional Strategies 1. Create a number sub-topics of about the current topic of study that correspond with the number of groups (6 groups/6 sub-topics), and write each one on a piece of chart paper or on a white board. Hang or place in various places around the room. (i.e. Charlotte Danielson Domain 1: Each piece of paper gets one of the 6 domain sub-categories 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f). 2. Group participants so that you have the same number of teams as stations( in this example there are 6). 3. Each group should start at a different station. Place markers at each station (you can color code). 4. You can have the group add ideas, respond, ask questions, etc. 5. After three to five minutes, have the groups rotate to the next station. Participants read and discuss the previous group s response and add content of their own. Repeat until all groups have visited each station. 6. Let the groups go back the first station to read additions. Come back for discussion. Pass It On 1. You will need a 10x13 inch envelope for each participant and a set of 5x6 index cards (equaling the total number of participants in the group...40 people participating 40 index cards for each envelope). 2. Prior to the meeting, place an envelope in each staff members mailbox with the following instructions: a.) If you were an animal what would you be...draw a picture of that animal on the top right corner. For those of you who aren't artistically inclined (like myself), you can print one and tape it b.) Name the animal. c.) Identify a problem for which you would like to solicit outside suggestions. Use a marker to write in the middle of the envelope that problem or situation. It might be anything classroom related: it can be a disciplinary issue, an instructional situation, an organization question, a parentinvolvement issue. There are no restrictions. The following are a few suggestions: I would love to do cooperative learning, but how do you keep all of the students on task? I can't get my students to come in and automatically begin their "bell work." What can I do to make this a routine for them? I always have to remind them to get started on it. When I try to use manipulatives in math class, all they do is play with them. What can I do to get them to focus more seriously on the activity? How do I get my students to show up for my detention?

10 Pass It On (con t) Instructional Strategies 3. The staff will bring their envelopes with them to the next meeting or you may wish to collect them ahead of time to ensure all envelopes are accounted for and lay them out on a table for pick up at the faculty meeting. Pre-set the index cards at each seat. 4. Instruct the staff members to pass the envelopes clockwise. They should read the question on the folder and use the index card to offer an idea detailing the steps to follow for successful implementation. Place the card in the envelope. 5. When the group of envelopes all have been responded to they should be placed in a pile in the middle of the table. 6. The envelopes will pass clockwise around to the next table. 7. Continue until the envelopes have passed through all the tables or until the designated time elapses. 8. Collect and place the envelopes on the table for pick-up as the participants exit the meeting.

11 Summarize Building Capacity Opening Preparation Faculty Meeting Planning Page Example -List materials you will need -Items that need to be created ahead of time (PowerPoint, survey, etc.) - Music selection (to energize) - Strategies you will use (Develop a forum for sharing and collaborating) -Objective (Create a Focus Target and look for this in the classroom) -Topics, sub-topics, data (Professional Learning) - Getting to Know You Activity (Building Relationships/Positive Climate) - Share Survey Results (Teacher Empowerment Through Shared Decision-Making) - Share the Classroom Applications of Strategies (Encouraging Professional Conversations) - State the Objective (Provide Professional Focus) -Introduce Learning Strategy (Model the Learning You Wish to See in the Classroom) - Introduce the Learning Topic (Real World Application) - Engage Participants (Activity Learning to Provide Practice and Feedback) - Discussion Time (Opportunity for Professional Dialogue, Sharing, and Reflection) -Stop and Think (Professional Reflection) - Application (Exit Ticket: How Will I Use the Strategy in my Classroom?) - Close (Sticky Learning : End with a Compelling Quote, Video, Clip, or Story)

12 Summarize Building Capacity Opening Preparation Faculty Meeting Planning Template

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