One of the unintended, but beneficial, outcomes of the attention the “flipped” classroom has received is an increased level of scrutiny regarding the way that school leaders utilize staff time. As educators, we frequently lament the inadequate amount of time our teachers have to participate in meaningful professional development, yet we continue to waste countless hours in traditional staff meetings — time that could be used for learning and collaboration. Recent discussions about the “flipped” faculty meeting provide a launching point for making meaningful change to an entrenched practice that is clearly the antithesis of twenty-first century learning. Consider the following posts:
by Bill Ferriter (@plugusin)…
- What if you flipped your faculty meetings?
- More ideas for flipping faculty meetings.
- Still MORE on flipping the faculty meeting.
… and by David Culberhouse (@DCulberhouse)
Both of these guys have some great ideas for how implementing the “flipped” concept to a meeting — whether it is at the site or district level — can add value to a practice that has too frequently become a sharing of announcements and an airing of grievances. As I mentioned in a comment on David’s post:
The concept of “flipping” a meeting (or a classroom) is about maintaining a focus on valuing time. Just like maximizing instructional time in the classroom, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of our teachers’ time and too often we (me included) are not effective in this regard.
Although I am not, by any means, an expert, I thought I would briefly share two tools that I am using this school year in an effort to reclaim time for teachers to use for worthwhile learning opportunities and collaboration.
The first, is a new blog, WJHS Professional Learning Community. A work in progress, I plan to use this to communicate staff messages, provide links and resources, and ultimately generate dialogue among staff members. The blog will also serve as a platform to prepare for “flipped” faculty meetings — when appropriate (i.e. A Flipped Faculty Meeting). My goal is to make this an interactive tool for our staff, with guest posts, and faculty shared resources.
The second tool I am currently using is a simple Google Doc, entitled Staff Announcements (running list). This is an archived list of daily announcements and encouragement. While there is nothing earth shattering about the concept, or the technology, I have discovered that it has nearly eliminated the need for me to spend time on announcements (minutia), at faculty or leadership team meetings.
Again, neither of these tools, or their use, would be described as innovative, but both have worked well to recapture time for teachers as well as serving to model how technology can be integrated in an effort to engage and improve dialogue (classroom applications).
As we go through the school year, I expect some bumps, and some modifications to how we are implementing this new approach to faculty time. However, I think this is a substantial issue that needs to be addressed in our educational system.
If time is money, are your teachers getting an adequate return on their investment?
Please share what you are trying in an effort to improve professional development and increase collaboration at your school. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.