We’ve all dreaded as the hour approaches for what seems to be an interminable staff meeting where someone talks at you about procedure and best practice. We watch others grade and gossip as we keep an eye on that one colleague or two to see how long it takes them to succumb to a bout of narcolepsy. We truly understand the origin of the phrase I survived another meeting that should’ve been an email. It’s time to stop collecting survival ribbons and let the concept behind the flipped classroom transform your professional gatherings.
By practicing a flipped model, staff meetings are transformed into engaging environments where ideas are shared and collaboration takes the forefront. With a Leadership Team in place that selects professional development topics that serve the best interests of the entire staff, educators are given material (e.g., videos, reading selections, blogs, etc.) to preview BEFORE entering the meeting. Meeting time is then used to process and adapt the concepts found in the informational materials to fit into current practices. These 4 benefits of the FLIP will have you ready to make the change.
With the flipped model, teachers can use meeting time to focus in on how the procedures and practices being shared will impact their individual classrooms. Teachers won’t spend 30 minutes hearing about best practices utilized in a second grade math lesson when they are teaching ninth grade biology. With a collection of resources to preview before entering the meeting, teachers can focus on those that are applicable to their current position and be prepared to discuss how new or revised best practice can work in their own classrooms.
Leaders vs. Lecturers
The talking at you model of traditional staff meetings is replaced when a lecturer is removed from the podium. A Leadership Team that selects and researches materials for topics of study will allow meeting time to become a true professional development setting. Teach Thought discusses 5 challenges in flipping meetings, and found that “The important thing about flipping staff meetings is to do things during the meeting that teachers can’t do alone. Avoid lecture at all costs.” We can all read an email with the housekeeping reminders that often monopolize staff meetings. A Leadership Team that provides the path to new concepts and practices with beginning talking points will revive a tired and overused meeting model and bring a fresh outlook.
When we come to the end of a long day and find ourselves faced with the idea of a traditional staff meeting, it can be hard to muster the ability to pay attention, much less be inspired by new ideas. When we have time to process a new concept, roll it over in our minds, and envision it in our classrooms, we are more apt to feel a spark of interest and a willingness to welcome change or at least entertain discussions. Entering a meeting with the basics under our belt takes away a lot of the questions and negative pushback when new ideas are presented. Having the basics covered lets meeting time be more personalized as the creative juices have a chance to flow.
After 20+ years in education, one of the biggest complaints stemming from professional gatherings is the lack of time to truly collaborate with peers. The sharing of thoughts and ideas gets lost when meetings revolve around a single presenter and a one-sided conversation. Flipping staff meetings gets the presentation out of the way and lets the discussion that usually trickles out of the meeting doors and into the parking lot be the meat and bones of actual meeting time. When we are able to make our ideas and viewpoints part of the learning process, we are more likely to take away the true value of a professional development session.
If the goal of a staff meeting is to foster staff development, then utilizing the flipped model is a surefire way to make time spent personally and professionally valuable. When collaborative time becomes the main focus, ideas flourish. Perfecting the art of the flipped staff meeting will have teachers walking away refreshed- no nap required!