Staff meetings for preschool teachers can become monotonous and ineffective if they are poorly planned. Staff leadership should consider techniques that are successful in the classroom and apply them to staff meetings; clear, concise instructions and engaging discussion are essential to an effective staff meeting.
Use the staff meeting as an opportunity to convey changes in curriculum and policy, particularly major changes that might generate questions or concerns. Update staff calendars with upcoming events and classroom schedules. This is the time to coordinate training sessions, schedule class parties and discuss holidays and vacations. Personal announcements, such as an engagement, might be appropriate here for casual meetings. For major policy changes, follow up with e-mail so each staff member has written notice of the changes as well.
Items of Concern
Teachers who are struggling with some of their students can use this time to convey their concerns to the rest of the staff. Problems with physical facilities, insufficient classroom supplies or the nutritional value of classroom snacks all belong here. Encourage employees to make note of things that are going well too. List specific discussion items on the agenda and ask for input from the staff.
Let staff members help each other with specific classroom issues they are facing. Discuss ideas for improving the school, helping the students, staying within budget or other problems. Encourage staff members to freely contribute ideas without worrying about their practicality; creative input can yield surprising results when arbitrary guidelines are lifted. Brainstorming doesn't have to happen all at once; it might be helpful to discuss solutions to each problem as they arise in the meeting. Keep flexibility in the agenda to accommodate the natural flow of the meeting.
Take note of things that need to be done going forward, such as preparation for upcoming events and implementation of new lesson plans. Assign specific action items to staff members and have them report on their progress at the next meeting. A general discussion of things that should be done is far less effective than creating individual assignments. Don't end the meeting until everyone is clear on their objectives and assignments.
Create an agenda to help the meeting stay on track and to make sure important topics get covered. Each person attending the meeting should receive a copy of the agenda. Keep meetings as brief as possible. Staff members are generally more willing to attend meetings if they feel that their time isn't being wasted in unnecessary or unproductive discussions.
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