“This shouldn’t take too long.” Perhaps the most foreboding words ever uttered at the beginning of a school meeting.
Everybody knows it’s not true. Calling it a lie seems harsh as if the meeting leader (henceforth referred to as Satan) gets paid by the syllable and second.
I’m just kidding…about the Satan part.
However, every single meeting ever held has lasted longer than it needed to. Part of the blame goes on the meeting leader and the rest on the attendees.
In the spirit of my criticism, I will keep this short (however, at least 300 words because that’s how long it needs to be for Google to even recognize it).
Is a Meeting Necessary?
Short answer: no, it’s not. 99.2% of all information I’ve ever received at a meeting could have easily been disseminated by email. And do you know what we teachers could have been doing instead? Any of the countless accountability tasks flowing like grape-flavored motor oil from your state and national capitols.
This inflo should help:
Are you mostly sure the meeting info could be explained by email? Then email.
Are you kinda sure the meeting info could be explained by email? Then email.
Are you sorta sure the info could be explained by email? Then email.
Are you pretty sure the info could not be explained by email? Then email.
Are you confident the info could not be explained by email? Still, email.
Do You Need to Speak at the Meeting?
The above section should send meetings into extinction faster than Netflix did in Blockbuster. However, if you find yourself sitting in a brontosaurus of a get-together, don’t say anything.
You think you have a question, but you don’t.
“There are no stupid questions. If you have the question, others in here probably do as well, so ask.” You know you’ve said that, teachers. I have.
And it’s stupid. Don’t ask. Email. You know why? Because after facilitator answers the question, meeting attendees will ask, “Can you just email that?”
Yes. Yes, they can.
Here’s some more help for you:
If you’re only going to query to point out your self-proclaimed pedagogical genius, don’t.
If you’re only going to query to grind the same ax for the 300th time, don’t.
If you’re only going to query to point out how great your kid is, or your kid’s school is, don’t.
Seriously, nobody cares. And we all have way too much to do…especially the first few days before the kids arrive.
Meeting to Build Community
“But what about building community by getting us all together?” an administrator may ask.
Meetings build resentment. If your administrators want to build community, tell them to get the staff pizza for lunch some random Friday, or let the staff dress down more often.
The most important commodity is time. Plain and simple.
Mr. Middlesworth wants to hear from you. Please let us know what you think down below. And why don’t you share this with one of your teacher friends?
I’m just a regular old teacher. No cape, no eye patch. I have no synonyms for innovation but I do want to do my job as best as I can.