[Disclaimer: This is my biggest failure on the “60-word target!”] For the past nine years, this last week of April has marked the moment when I would begin framing next year’s opening-of-school faculty meetings. New student registrations have just occurred, so I have made a habit of starting faculty meta-planning the morning after those student registrations. Students are registered…we need to start planning! I won’t be doing such faculty meta-planning this go around, but a habit is a hard thing to break.
I have always striven to design frameworks for faculty meetings that would make people want to flock to the events. Unfortunately, I think I have always failed. Yet, I have kept trying. What if I were designing the frameworks for an August meeting that would open the 2012-13 school year? What would some of the frame pieces look like?
- I’d probably create a Google doc in which faculty could contribute their ideas for faculty meeting topics and explorations. What do they want and need in our precious few meetings together? These tributaries would weigh heavily into the collective river of our work together. These waters would be the projects and challenges that are most relevant to us.
- I’d try to create an invigorating, exciting, compelling “need to know.” With a school vision that focuses on project-based learning, integrated studies, global connectedness, balanced assessment, teacher teaming, and 21st century schedules and spaces, I would likely try to model and simulate those very things into our meetings. If we wanted to learn to play baseball, then the best method would likely be to…play baseball (not sitting in a desk hearing about baseball!). So, I would want to start with a hook – a “need to know” – to get us playing.
- I’d be tempted to invite teachers to share IGNITE or TED-talk-like sessions about their practices and potential experiments. Maybe we would even workshop and construct these together, in small groups and teams, during the meeting.
- I’d want to utilize some “brainfood” – some stuff to which to react and respond. I think I might use the following:
- CHANGEd 60-60-60: OUR BRANDS, by @mmhoward
- Leveraging Learning by Organizing Technology Use: A Modest Framework, by @maryannreilly
- Educating the Next Steve Jobs, by Tony Wagner
- Lessons from Caine’s Arcade, by Seth Godin
RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms…Sir Ken Robinson
- Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge…TED talk
- And, perhaps, we would employ some quiet reflecting and writing time…and maybe some micro “FedEx time.”
I have loved serving as the principal learner at my Junior High School for the past nine years. I don’t have many regrets. I do wish I had done a better job each and everyday for the faculty. I wish I had spent more time interacting with each and every one of them. I wish I had spent less time in other meetings and more time in shared learning with the middle school teachers. So, I think I’d keep that in mind as I designed one more start to school.